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Reflections of a Retired Teacher

I’m sitting here perusing Facebook and reading all of the posts regarding former colleagues of mine returning to school.  It’s the time that some call September Silence – when mothers send their children off to school and finally have PEACE.  For educators, there is no September Silence.

 As a high school English teacher for twenty-five years, I never knew September Silence.  I, however, as a retired English teacher have so many memories dancing a jig in my head at the moment.

 I remember reliving the story of Cinderella each year at prom time.  Pretending that I was a fairy godmother, I would choose a special girl who could not afford prom and take her shopping for a dress and shoes, have her hair and nails done, and invite her to my house before she left for prom to give her that motherly speech about how to behave and how to stay out of trouble.

 These days when I need my tires rotated or aligned, I visit Matt who wasn’t the best English student in the world but who has found his trade in life and does it well…and I trust him with my tires.

 When I need dental work, I remember Scott who always makes me feel “special” when I visit his clinic; he had been an excellent Honors English student and is now a superior dentist.

 I remember once having an emergency appendectomy and looking up to see a former student as my anesthesiologist.  I suppose he liked me, too, because I awakened a few hours later…alive!

 I trust Nicole, now a pharmacy technician, to give me the correct prescriptions…and always with a smile.

 Many former students are now English majors or are English teachers.  I’m so glad that I passed my passion of literature and writing on to them.

 The best advice I was ever given was by Austin, an AP Literature student.  Knowing that he was technologically savvy, I often asked him questions regarding my computer, projector, or printer.  One day his reply was “Just Google It, Ms. Sebourn.”  I “Just Google It” almost every day of my life now and always remember him when doing it.

 There are sad memories, too.  They are of students who left this world way too early, yet they had so much to offer it.  I think of them often and of what they might have done with their lives.

 September Silence?  I never knew it.  But what I had?  It means the world to me.



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