Ode to a Classroom
by Joseph Mock
Dedicated to my wife, Sharon, at her retirement as a kindergarten teacher for 38 years.
Farewell and thanks for the warmth on gray winter days, and coolness during spring, and early summer.
Farewell to the sounds of laughter and joy of small voices echoing the excitement of some new discovery and wonder brought in by gentle and caring hands
Farewell and thanks for the use of your walls adorned with the creativity of little children
Farewell and thanks for your windows, as eyes, that looked out onto a tapestry of woods filled with the sound of birds and children playing
Farewell and thanks for a place where lives were brought together in hope and anticipation of great things
Farewell and thanks for those I've met along the way, parents, teachers, all a part of a miniature universe called a classroom.
Farewell and thanks for all the wonderful years of color, dancing, music, and the excitement that can only be experienced through the hearts, mind, and joy of little children
Farewell and goodbye, for now I leave to venture into other rooms, rooms filled with heretofore undiscovered adventures, new places, new faces, and new dreams.
Farewell and goodbye room, but yet! wait! --- perhaps not goodbye --- I take your memories with me in my heart, in my mind, and in my soul.
Perhaps, Room, not goodbye after all!
Your loving husband,
I would like to explain what inspired me to write "Ode to a Classroom," dedicated to my wife.
On the last day of school my wife and I were leaving the classroom when I made an off-handed comment about the room she had spent 32 years teaching in.
"Well, I guess we won't have to come to this room anymore!" She left quietly and briskly, leaving me with a feeling of intense sadmess and also remorse for having made such an untimely remark. Upon arriving home I set about creating this as an apology in writing. It was read at her school retirement party.
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