I wear a beat-up pair of pants and my blue World Teacher Day teeshirt I found last week at the bottom of my closet. My back is sweaty underneath the backpack by the time I get to school. I want to change into my dress clothes, but I first check email, then prep for my classes, and pretty soon it's 8:40. The phone rings. Moira has missed the bus. Grrr. So I'm driving home in my grubby walking clothes and I won't be able to change before first class.
Michael and I go for lunch at Mings and the restaurant is so full that there is only seating space at the big, round table for six. "Look around," Dean, our student from Mainland China who works at the family restaurant, says, "where else can you sit?"
On our way to the table, four big grade eleven boys from Standing Buffalo are lining up for the buffet. "Leave some for us," I say.
Dean brings us tea and as I'm eating rice, Keitha walks in with her sister. We giggle once Keitha sees me because I've been waving at her from behind the pink, plastic potted flowers. We promise to phone eachother tomorrow.
I'm just about to ask Michael his opinion on a parenting point when Dean walks up to our table with a plate of noodles. "I'll join you," he says.
"Teaching is all about relationship," I once spouted to Martin Brokenleg as I sat beside him on a Westjet flight from Vancouver, unaware he was thee Martin Brokenleg, a world-famous education guru. He nodded and encouraged me in my passion. This summer I read through his thinly sliced book like it was expensive cheesecake, Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future.
Today is October 5th, World Teacher Day. I haven't changed from my walking clothes, but I'm proud to be wearing the teeshirt. I'm subbing for Jade in period five, and I tell her students, "Don't forget to hug a teacher before you leave today."