fathomed until you have children of your own. When you have to watch your own child walk away
from you into the care of others you will understand. Being a teacher means, to me, always trying to remember that my students are children given into my care. I feel honored and grateful that I am allowed to share in the enthusiasm, curiosity, energy, and drive of these young people. They also keep me well grounded. I think I am a wonderful teacher? That I do a brilliant job of getting kids to listen or cooperate? I think I can manage or control my students? Hah! It doesn’t take long for me to begin having to eat crow while I attempt to scrape up a bit of my deflated ego after it has been shredded by my students. I well remember one of my conversations with Tara after she had elected to miss a couple of classes. I thought our little serious talk went particularly well, and I was confident that I wouldn’t have to worry about any more absences for a least a couple of weeks. What actually happened was that she left my room and made a straight line march up to Starbucks, where she spent the next few hours commiserating with a couple of her buddies on the unfairness of Mr. Simpson’s expectations. Looking back now, I can see this behaviour for what it was: a faith that whatever she did, she would be able to return and get forgiveness and acceptance.