Sunday the child and I had some time to kill between catching sessions, so we stopped at the local used bookstore to browse.
When I rounded the corner, I heard, "Oh, my God, Mrs. Kolbeck!" and "Holy crap! Mrs. Kolbeck!" and before me were two former students, the latter of which (Alex) I had not seen in six years (and was graduating in May 2014), and the former of which (Olivia) I had taught in my school until that whole thing sort of imploded for various reasons that are nobody's business but mine, hers and her family's.
Alex has decided to study philosophy, and Olivia, who is graduating early in December 2013, has decided to go to the local university and become a teacher, inspired by me, she says, the very best teacher she has ever had (her words, not mine, I swear). Alex seconded that statement.
I miss teaching. I miss teaching at HoneyFern, and I even miss teaching at public school (the teaching part; nothing else). I miss that feeling when a student comes back and tells you how they are doing. It doesn't even have to be a tribute visit; just knowing that they are doing well, and that I had some part in it (for better or for worse, either inspiring them to do it because of or in spite of me) is why I became a teacher.
As we flail about this year, trying to figure out what to do next, I have been unsure as to whether or not I would teach again in any format (continuing my school after this sabbatical, teaching in a different school altogether, tutoring, other). This didn't push me one way or the other, but it reminded me that once I did have a passion for something grander than myself. Once I did feel something worth waking up for. Once I made a difference.
That visit today was manna. <3