An Empty Bag

Slice of Life: Day 15

     Today it finally happened.  Today my school bag was totally emptied of papers!  It started last night with only two stacks left.  Despite how tired I was I just wanted them done.  With bickering housewives on in the background, I graded paper after paper whittling the pile down even further only stopping to make a snide comment or two to my husband who was clicking away on his computer.   Spelling done.  On to the fact tests. The kids are going to be asking tomorrow if I graded them… it amazes me how quickly they think things get done.
     “Did you grade mine yet?”
     “Grade it?  You just did it this morning and I have been teaching you since then!     When would I have graded it?”
     I was covered in fact tests as I put 50 plus half sheets in order so I didn’t have to overexert myself with simple multiplication and division facts.  Determined to finish I pushed on knowing what it would bring.
     Done.  The last one.
     I neatly stacked up all the papers and placed them back in my bag knowing they were ready to come out when I got to school.  I went to bed feeling accomplished.
     My morning was rushed and I didn’t get to that final stack until late morning.  The feeling of taking them out and knowing they were not going back in and they were not becoming another pile on my desk, but they were going in to their owner’s mailboxes and to their new home was joyous!  At that moment my bag was void of papers!  I had done it.  Finally!
     I cleaned up my desk at the end of the day and placed my grade/plan book inside my bag.  It was so light!  It lacked the normal weight and girth that serves as a reminder that there’s more to do even though I was leaving.  I surveyed my desk and debated taking the newly laminated stack of name tags home to cut while watching TV.  I should have time tomorrow… but I should just do it tonight.  Into my bag they go.  At least, if only for a few hours, my bag was empty.

5 thoughts on “An Empty Bag

  1. Oooh, I love that last line. What a perfect line that totally encapsulates the life of a teacher.

    I wish you would have left those name tags at home! Let the bag be empty, if only for a night.


  2. Best. Feeling. In. The. World! When that bag is empty or the pile is gone… even for a short time. I loved your reflection and the description as each teacher feels with the dreaded bag. One of my favorites… “Grade it? You just did it this morning and I have been teaching you since then! When would I have graded it?” EVERY TIME! Or my other is “When will you have these back?”


  3. One cannot overstate the beauty of the empty bag. I’m trying to finish my grading, too, before spring break starts. These days, however, most of my grading is online.
    I get asked those questions about having papers graded, too. i’m shocked at how gifted kids think their teachers are! Here’s to keeping the bag empty.


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