The open cage door
They left Wednesday, after their final exams. It's the 11th class of students to graduate from the public information study. I haven't approved all, but a fair amount. Sending them away is perhaps the sweetest part of being a teacher - and the worst. Sweet, because it's like opening the cage of a flock of birds, and see them head for the skies on their own. Bad, because they take a little piece of me with them.
Over the years, I have learned to hold back, hold back to the point that the students now complain that I love the subjects I teach more than I love them. Now that is not a bad thing in my book, I definitely should NOT spend nights with students, take them to bed, let them come between me and my family, dissect them, critizise them to pieces and then see what I can do to twist them violently into the shapes I like... or discard them. After all, theory is for ever - students argue with me, fear me, beg for my help, talk about me behind my back and then they leave me. And when they leave, they don't ask if I loved them, they just go, and take my hopes and dreams for them with them. Sometimes I see them again, sometimes I never hear from them - sometimes I read their obituaries. That one hurts. Sometimes I see them every day on television. That feels a little better, like reading their blogs. But in the end, they care as much about me as my books do. And my books at least, stay around.