I wrote this post at the end of the year last year. I never published it- I didn’t feel brave enough. Today, now that it is behind me, I feel it’s okay to post.
The other day, my AP kids and I were finishing Le Petit Prince. I don’t read it every year because I try to choose texts based on the kids’ needs and stuff, but I have read it several times with kids. I had to read it as a student and to be honest, it didn’t thrill me and still doesn’t really. I have friends who absolutely love it- mostly teacher friends. I even have a friend with a tattoo of one of the characters. But generally, the students I’ve chosen to share it with tend to really enjoy it. So there’s that.
This year, my AP class is very, very special to me. They are profound, witty, sweet, and fun to be around. They put forth efforts in class, they’ve done amazing things with the language, and I truly enjoy each and every one of them. So I decided to read Le Petit Prince with them. It was going well, and then we got to the fox chapter.
We were reading it aloud the other day, and I got choked up. I know I cry easily, but not generally at things like this, especially not Le Petit Prince. But there I am, reading with my kids, tears streaming down my face. It wasn’t that it was particularly beautiful- I had heard it many times before. It just had special significance to me today.
I’ve been grieving the loss of my classroom job. I mean, it was my choice, and yes, I’m super pumped about my new position. But as the year closes, and it is becoming more and more real that I am not coming back and I won’t be teaching again next year. This is my tenth year teacher, and that’s a long time. It has had a profound impact on my life and my identity. I am grateful for my new opportunity, and I know it’s going to be great and all that good stuff. Of course. I’m just sad to be leaving. That doesn’t mean I’m not happy to be coming into my new position. I get to be both.
The prince realizes that the time he has spent on his rose in the process of “taming” (“apprivoiser” is really a little different than just “to tame” but whatever) was not wasted because it’s his devotion that has made her unique and special to him and allowed him to be tamed too. I am also feeling like I have wasted some of my time. I’ve devoted so much time to doing things that probably in the end don’t really matter. I’ve made sacrifices that feel meaningless.
This morning, something made me so mad, it made me cry. I was embarrassed that I was crying, so I sought refuge somewhere- anywhere. I went to one of the administrator’s offices and let it out. He talked to me, and while it was nice, it made me more bitter and regretful I think, really. So I excused myself to a conference room to get myself together. As I was sitting in there, I was thinking about the stupid fox chapter we had just read the day before. I realized that I wasn’t as angry as I was hurt and disappointed. I realized that this is the price of being “tamed”- of trusting. I’m not very good at trusting.
But this special AP class. They have taught me so much about trust. Trusting each other, trusting the process, and how much all of it can pay off. There’s a person I work with who has also taught me a lot about this as well. I am so grateful for my experiences at Howell, despite sometimes feeling like I have wasted some time. I’m realizing it wasn’t wasted at all. It tamed me. It taught me. They tamed me. They taught me.