In My Empty Room


As I asked our wonderful custodian to unlock my classroom, I realized it had almost been two months to the day since I had been in my room.  That doesn't sound like long, but in teacher time, it feels like a lifetime.

I stepped through the door and set my things down on my empty desk. I started to glance around the room.  Empty.  Empty walls.  Empty whiteboard. Empty counters.  Empty desks.  Empty chairs.  Just empty.

Then a very strange thing happened.  I began to be overcome with emotion.  It was almost to the point of tears.  I was not expecting that.  I looked around and I swear I could hear them.  The laughter, the questions, the chatter. . . it was almost audible.

I had two pretty amazing groups of students last year.  It was a difficult year in many ways.  The first year of teaching a new grade level always is.  But, those students made it something special.

I couldn't sit down just yet.  I had to walk around, and look and touch.  I had to relive the old before I could begin the new.  I let my fingers lightly drag across the desktops.  I glanced out the window.  I didn't stifle the memories.  I let them flood back naturally and unencumbered.  I paced the room for fifteen minutes before I took a deep breath and finally sat down at my desk.  It was time to move on.

*     *     * 

Today is a blank slate, much like the current state of my room.  I have no expectations.  I have no list.  I have no agenda.  I simply want to be here.  I want to feel the space.  I want to look at it with fresh eyes and an open mind.  I want to causally leaf through the pages of possibilities and not limit my thinking.  I want to see this room for what is possible instead of simply what is.  It's empty now, but it won't be for long.