I’ve got a bit of a morbid one here. I’ve been watching the Hobbit recently (both 1 and 2) and was reminded of a poem that Tolkien put in the Lord of the Rings, “I Sit Beside the Fire and Think.” This poem is all about looking towards the future and of the next generation,
I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.
As a teacher, I think about that world. I see my former students, my nieces and nephews, as they are graduating from high school, going on to college, work, and independent lives. They are beginning to take a hand in creating that world. I find it terrifying, exciting, and fascinating.
I always told my students that the best part of being a teacher was watching them as they decide to stop being children, and start become adults. It doesn’t all happen at once, and, as we all do, they tend to relapse back to childhood every now and then. But, when you teach high school freshman you get not only that one year they are in your classroom, but the three years that follow until that day they walk across the stage.
That world that they are creating, the choices I would never make, some that I would, but all leading to
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.
Just a side note, I’m 34, I know my parents, my former teachers, feel the same way about me.