First Week

Dear Terrence,

We’re nearing the end of our first week of school. Where are you? Three days in and I’d always be able to tell who would be my Terrences and my Teresas this year would be. Last year, I could tell within three seconds. You probably think I’m being hyperbolic (exaggerating for effect), but it’s true: one Teresa (and there were so many last year) introduced herself with her actions and words before she even entered my classroom, and several of the Terrences made clear their priorities just as they’d stepped inside my room. This year, I just don’t know where you are. Granted, I’ve seen a glimmer of you in this student and that, but you — that attitude, that consistently disruptive behavior, that anger, that defiance — are nowhere to be seen.

While that does relieve me for the most part, I must admit that there’s a little part of me that’s somewhat unnerved by it. I’m used to seeking you out and working with you and your issues immediately, and the fact that you haven’t appeared makes me think that perhaps I’ve lost my discerning edge or that perhaps you’ve gotten better at blending in and will pop up later than expected. I enjoy the challenge, that’s true, but the fact that I still haven’t figured out who you are this year gives me a bit more hope about the future than I usually have. Maybe my cynicism and pessimism are misplaced. We’ll see as soon as the honeymoon period wears off.

In the meantime, I just want to thank you for keeping it cool. I’m still fairly sure you’re out there somewhere, but you’re blending in nicely now, and that makes my job a whole lot more enjoyable.

With beginning-of-the-year hope,
Your Teacher

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