This week, our governor officially closed the school doors for the rest of the semester.
I didn’t quite realize how uncertain everything felt until then. It seemed possible that I might be back soon, so I didn’t make too much effort to settle into routines or try to become an expert with these new practices. Instead, I took it week by week, adding a little bit more each time.
This week, things felt remarkably final. The big ole box full of therapy materials and files that’s taking up half the space in our tiny dining room will remain there. How long? I don’t know. Until August, at least, it seems.
With that finality came the realization that there are students who I likely won’t see again. Being a high school SLP, several of my students are graduating seniors. Because of how I’ve rotated through schools, this year’s seniors were actually some of my very first speech students when I began my career at the middle school. Once we had all made it back to the high school, it felt something like a reunion of old friends. A reunion that seems to now be over.
Before Spring Break, we were having conversations about my attending their graduation. Now, it looks unlikely that will happen. And I’m, admittedly, quite sad about that.
We pour a lot into these kiddos of ours. Our time, our effort, our love, our determination. And, for a lot of us, we watch them move on, year after year. I find myself wondering, from time to time, what happened to so and so. Trying to calculate what grade they would be in now, how they’re doing, wondering if they’re succeeding. It really does feel a lot like having your own children - just up to 60 of them at a time, ever rotating and changing.
So, this week, rather than being particularly productive, I mostly just mourned the end of an era. I’m letting how I feel now remind me of why I do what I do and hoping it will fuel me in August when I’m back with a new crop of students to pour into.