Today and Monday I'm subbing at a school I taught at for 23 years, and went to as a fifth and sixth grader. Every time I come back to this school, I am flooded with memories. A certain classroom door, something in the hallway-- everything brings back so many memories of the years I taught here.
That storage closet over there? That was the 5th and 6th grade storage closet. I remember once we were cleaning it out as a team, and even though it was work, it was great fun because of the people on the 5/6 team. I remember looking high up on a top shelf at a jar that contained some kind of science thing stored in liquid. It was labeled "6th Grade Brains" (one of our science units in 6th grade was the brain). As I took the jar down, I said, "So THAT'S where the 6th grade brains went. I've been wondering that all year!".
I can walk down the hall and name the teachers that were in the classrooms I pass. Mr. Gonzales, Mr. Fukai, Mr. Carney, Mr. Jenkins, Ms. Marvin, Miss Acker, Ms. Miller, Mrs. Suppes, Mr. Wagner, Mrs. Jackson.... so many wonderful teachers. Well, almost all of them, anyway. There is that one there.....
Today I'm subbing in the library and am reading out loud to several classes. The room we're in wasn't always a library. When I was a student and a teacher here, it was a courtyard. I point out to the kids the beam that used to be a water spout, tell them where they are sitting used to be a carpet of wonderfully green, cool grass, and point out where the time capsule was buried when I was a 5th grade student here.
As I walk up the sidewalk to the front entrance of the school, I see the big tree that was in the background of all the individual photos I took of my students on the first day of school each year. The grounds in the front of the school have changed over the years due to changing the parking lot and entrance to the school, but the lawn and that tree still bring back memories.
Today as I was telling the kids I used to be a student here, we discovered that the dad of one of the kindergartners was my student in 5th grade. That has happened several times when I sub here. Once a student came up to me and said I had been her dad's teacher and I looked at him asked, "Is your dad's name xxxx?" The kid was an exact replica of his dad at that age.
I loved teaching at this school, and I don't think I really appreciated how much until I've come back to sub here. I learned a lot in the twenty-three years I was a teacher at this school, and I still consider many of the teachers (long gone from teaching) to still be close friends.
I hope all of you get to say that about your job someday.