A teacher’s tears 2016

At the cafe today I walked outside to take a breath and there they were – two women sitting chatting and in between them a boy was sitting. He was around three or four years old. A beautiful children’s book was propped up in front of him. I could see the bright colors AND THEN I REALIZED MY WORSE FEAR – the book was propped up NOT FOR HIM TO READ but for the cell phone to lean. He was sitting there staring at a cell phone. WHAT A LESSON.


My focus; the thing that turned me on; the thing that got me excited to meet my students was the fact that we were going to spend time exploring contemporary literature. It has been 15 years at this city college and over time the school and the students pay less and less time to the importance of books. The school is pushing them faster through the system and sending the message that the only important reading is non-fiction. The students come to me from high school and many don’t give a damn about books. They report never being turned on to one; if one not to two. IT IS TIME FOR ME TO MOVE ON. I DON’T KNOW WHY I AM SAD; I DON’T KNOW WHY IT UPSETS ME. AT 57 MY TIME HAS PASSED. STUDENTS TODAY WANT EVERYTHING ELSE BUT NOT BOOKS. I am challenged daily with cell phones; they are the competition. That is the world today. I have to let go because my expectations are now old fashioned. Reading no longer has the same meaning. And, hard books are no longer the thing. And, what I thought of as interesting content is no longer what this school is pushing. Retirement is my future and the time is theirs; it no longer has anything to do with me. It surprises me that I am sad.


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