It is a hard habit to break, a lifetime of teaching. One misses the conviction of the value of the job; the camaraderie of colleagues, coupled with the deadpan humour and drollery; the dread of the September return, juxtaposed with the joy of the July release. Most of all, I miss the delight of the classroom; the moments when we laughed, felt emboldened to ask the questions and courageously admit there were no answers. I miss the dawning realisations, gained over months and years, glimpsed in student expressions or thanks from parents, that learning is endlessly creative, best rooted in wonder and awe; that dedication to a craft – be it making music, or grappling with the spoken or written word – results in growing confidence and awareness of the various possibilities our time together germinated. I do, I miss it.
This is a blog in which the ghost of a teacher continues to post the things he might have brought back to his classroom, were he still stalking those dingy carpets, soulless corridors and arid assemblies. The news stories, books, music, films, art, poetry, and sometimes just the cute silly nonsense that would have watered parched and sterile curriculum expectations, and made the journey, rather than the destination, the whole point. He would like to think this journey will never end, and that many others, perhaps those he once taught and might remember him still, will now join him, even if momentarily, on the road that goes, as Bilbo sang, ever on.
Feel free to comment on what I expect to be many and varied musings. If you wish to share something yourself, or even just to reminisce about lessons in time past which the ghost of a teacher – forgive him – has no doubt forgotten, then do so via the comments and he will endeavour to incorporate it into his future posts and develop the dialogue.
Spread the word if you are so inclined. The ghost of a teacher encountered thousands of students during his classroom years. He wonders what became of them all. He looks forward to meeting them all again.
Above all, live in the moment!