The afternoon was built for quietly wading through another round of papers.
You are grateful to be home, soaking up the peaceful surroundings as you fill out one rubric after another in green pen. Earlier, you had forgone your usual teacher uniform as soon as you closed the front door, exchanging it instead for the comfort of yoga pants, your favorite sweatshirt, and a sloppy bun.
Now, you sit at your writing desk, a pot of tea by your side brimming with a soothing mint concoction. The window is cracked open and the fresh air wafts over you, stirring your pile of papers and gently caressing your skin. You can hear the little finches in the tree outside your window trilling their robust song and the sparrows responding in kind.
This is the real art of teaching, the one students never see: the steady rhythm of responding to their words on paper as the minutes tick into hours, the methodical process of reading between each line, seeing what they wanted to say, not what they necessarily committed to paper. Yes, this is true teaching in all its glory: yoga pants and sentence-fragment corrections, sloppy up-dos and tips on thesis development, home-blended tea and organization advice--and always, always the hope that they can read your handwriting.
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