Every day of school I walk through these doors and round the corner.
As soon as I round the corner I spot another set of doors.
Once I pass through these doors I catch a glimpse of this door at the end of the hallway.
This is the door to my classroom.
I unlock the door, turn on the lights, cross the room, and find myself standing in front of this door, my office door.
I unlock that door, push it open, step into my office, hit the power button on the computer, walk to the filing cabinet, set down my glass of tea, turn on the light, and drop my bags in the closet.
Thus my day begins.
Throughout the day, students fill my classroom, conversations occur, lessons are presented, homework is assigned, brain cells are activated, facts are learned, concepts are studied, and lives are changed.
When the school day ends, I close and lock my office and classroom doors, walk down the hallway, exit the building, get in my vehicle and drive away.
At the end of every school year I bid my students farewell, tidy my room, throw away junk, store supplies, submit inventories, lock the doors to my room and office, and then walk down the hallway. I respond to my colleagues calls of, “Have a good summer!” with “Hey, same to you!” then exit the building with the knowledge that I will return in the fall to start a new term and reconnect with students, parents, friends, and colleagues.
This has been the routine for the past seven years.
But this year is different.
On the last day of this school year I will walk through each of these doors, say my farewells, and complete the yearend routine once more. But at the end of that day, when I exit the building, force myself into my vehicle, and drive away, my heart will break with the realization that I have walked through these doors as a teacher at LC for the last time.
And next fall when the school term begins, someone new will take my place and form their own routine . . . as they walk through these doors.