It’s a fascinating thing to experience a child as a student and not as a person you have to raise.
As a mom, I fall into the routine of treating my own children in one of three ways:
(1) like they are the most brilliant humans on the planet
(2) like Smeagol treats his precious (as in, "we forgot the taste of bread... the softness of the wind. We even forgot our own name. My Preciousssses")
(3) like they’re trying to kill me
Being a child’s teacher, though, is different. It opens you up to a rich world where children are actual humans to be experienced in a multitude of contexts. Teachers see children for all the things they can be outside of belonging to an adult. There are the parts of them that their parents and their families have fashioned. There are idiosyncrasies they pick up from their favorite shows and games. Best of all, there are the parts of them that are just them.
You know that, right?
That there are parts of your child that you or society have nothing to do with?
That manifested from deep within them in a manner that they and only they chose to express?
I get to see that every single day. What we as adults have given them is beautiful, but what they do with that and produce on their own is truly magnificent. It was a good school year, and I hope the children have a blast this summer. As for myself, I'll be in Connecticut in a week playing student instead of teacher.