There have been many moments in my teaching career from the last 7 years, when memories of the past collide with moments of the present. First day as a teacher in this school, walking into the gym...and having a former teacher come in to wish me luck and to carry on the traditions of our building. Students personalities that are so similar to those I graduated with that it is like ghosts walking the hallways. Working with the student leaders to create spirit and pride in this building has been, what I think, to be my greatest contribution back to this community (I suppose that is why it is so hard to not be a part of student leadership this year). The school has been remodeled since I left but the feelings of being a student in the halls remain. I truly loved being in high school, was involved in just about every activity, and I'm pretty sure blue, green, and silver run in my veins.
Teaching at my old high school, where my mom is the librarian, my dad is the football announcer, my former teachers are now friends, and my cheer coach is the head secretary, is always where I dreamed of teaching. There are three alums that now teach here so you can imagine the strong sense of community we have. When I was looking for jobs out of college, I chose to teach at the middle school level to develop my teaching skills, classroom management and avoid being asked to Prom since I was so close to high school students ages because I graduated from college at 22. Plus, I knew the PE teacher at my school would eventually retire. She did and here I am. 7 years later. .
21 years ago, I was a senior in high school and our football team went to state. The boys I adored and grew up with won a state championship and as a cheer leader, I was on the sideline. I can VIVIDLY remember, looking into the stands and seeing the sea of blue, green and silver. Parents. Grandparents. Cousins. Alumni. Parents of alumni. And friends. So many friends in support of this little school who had made it to the big dance. That night's energy and confidence bled into the remainder of our senior year and more athletic teams played in state tournaments that year than any year since.
So, now it's December 4, 2009. Tonight, my students will be playing in a football state game. The students I adore are filled with the same excitement, confidence and pride that my friends and I felt all those years ago. I have received many texts and emails from my high school friends who are going to the game. It will be very fun to see them but you know what? My eyes will be watching the students. Watching their faces light up and create memories that they will carry with them of this magical school year. Watching the senior football players who have been playing together since middle school play with all they have and leave their hearts on the field to create something that only they will experience. Watching parents cheer on their children and friends support their loved ones.
As I watch this community that I adore support and cheer each other on tonight, faces from the past and the present will surround me. I have no doubt the ghosts and memories of '88 will flood through me. But oh, how I am looking forward to the memories created tonight.