The Art of Letting Go

Some folks say that school isn’t like real life, and I think there is some legitimacy to that statement. As my husband and I are both teachers, in our household, the vibrancy of a New Year feels more true in September, rather than January. But at CCH, the quarter 3 turnover– even though it’s just shy of one month after the turn of the year– is an even more heady reminder of the reality of passing time. At this stage, we’ve made it halfway through this school year’s go-around, and as such, it’s only natural for us to want to pause and ponder for a moment. In fact, we do this quite frequently. In just a few weeks it will already be midterm, and then we’ll soon be moving on to the fourth quarter, and so on and so forth…circle of life, hakuna matata, etc.

However, this four-cycle shift that we experience in the quarter system can be tricky. To be honest, I’m feeling rather disoriented and lost at this most recent corner because I’m mourning the end of my time with a most excellent ELA 30H group, and I think this sense of loss that I feel isn’t just me being overly sentimental. Speaking from a teacher’s experience, the quarter system can be especially hard on our hearts. Sometimes we feel like we’re just starting to connect with a class, and then whoosh, we’re marking their final projects and exams, and off they go onto the next set of courses.

For me, this constant turning a corner can be even more confusing because it may seem like I’m moving forward, but in a lot of ways, I’m in the same place. Case in point: I am always teaching people that range from age 14-18. The students never age. Forgive me for waxing philosophical, but while their youthfulness never fades, I, “[burdened,] crawl toward death” with each passing year. (My 30Hs should appreciate that allusion!) Melodramatic as that sentiment may be, it’s true. My pop culture references are fading in relevancy, my hair is greying ever more readily, and my ability to come up with another phrase to complete this parallel structure is, well, not as sharp as it used to be.

I never thought I would be the type of person to dig in at the changing of the tides, but dang it, the waves are getting higher and more precarious to ride. Clearly, I haven’t mastered the art of letting go. And despite my “[raging] against the dying of the light”, the sun still sets every day, and I have to build a new quarter calendar, even if I don’t feel ready.

I suppose I should take this nature motif more to heart. Life is seasons. Life means change. All of us at CCH experience this every quarter. And, like most of the characters in the literature I teach, it’s through struggle and loss that I learn the most. I will get better at letting go, and learn to love again.

  • Mrs. Hartman


Mrs. Hartman is the Lead English teacher and Blog Administrator at CCH. When she’s not marking papers, you will find her writing, reading, scrapbooking, cuddling with her dog, reading, writing, singing, and writing. Her favourite things about CCH are all of the amazing people she works with every day.

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