The Crossing Guard Chronicles: Oh, What We’ve Missed…

“Today, April 30, 1789, is a big day in American history. It happened in New York City and was the first of its kind. Do you know what it is?” *

This would have been today’s question at the Curbside Classroom. ‘Would have been’, because school has been shutdown, suspended, due to the Coronavirus.

April 19th, 1775 in colonial Lexington was another landmark day in American history, as was the prior day, April 18, that same year. The American poet with the long name, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, memorialized the 18th in his poem, ‘The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere’.

So many topics the kids and I are missing at the ‘Curbside Classroom’ because of our ‘furlough’ from school and my school crossing duties.

Sure, the daily history tidbits are interesting, but there’s so much more that we discuss, point out, quiz, laugh about in the minute we have while waiting to cross to the brick and mortar classrooms: beautiful sunrises, ducks in Buckland Creek behind us, planets lining up, and for the early crossers, the amazing ‘Morning Star’, Venus, as it visits us in late Spring, .

We try to cover it all, and then some: Word-of-the-Day, famous people, quotes, trivia, space, explorers, the mundane and the sublime. What is a Z-O-E-T-R-O-P-E and how do you pronounce it? Oh, the fun we’re missing, the dialogue, the learning and the laughter.

The end of the school year was in sight, then we were interrupted, sidelined, benched by the Coronavirus. There will still be an ending, but we won’t be at our customary stations to experience it.

I’ll miss reminding English students of Homer Simpson’s quote, “English, who needs it, I’m never going to England!” The math students will miss me mentioning Pythagoras and his equation, first thing in the morning.

And we all missed the 108th birthday celebration of the Oreo cookie. I had to eat them all, myself. Oh, my!

Greeting kids by name, asking about their day and future plans, especially Seniors. I miss that. Some are going on to college, others into the work force, while a few are heading to the military. I wish them all the best.

If I was to give a Curbside Classroom Commencement message to the graduating class, it would be this quote from Sarah Caldwell:

“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can…there will always come a time you’ll be grateful you did”.

Who was Sarah Caldwell? Well, I always try to leave something for personal research.

Yessiree, we missed a lot this Spring, but mostly I missed you, the kids.

Steve B (srbottch.com)

To all the kids in the TCMS and BHS, especially those who cross at the Curbside Classroom

* George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States

May 2020

Published by

srbottch

Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative to begin anew as a school crossing guard. SMy essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my blog stories, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Another offered about my blog, “it brings some sense of normalcy not easily found in the modern world.”

50 thoughts on “The Crossing Guard Chronicles: Oh, What We’ve Missed…”

  1. Great, Steve
    Your students will remember you and your “ classes” long after they graduate.
    No doubt as one of their best teachers!
    Jim Murdock

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jim, that’s a very nice thing to say. I appreciate it. Do you remember your fav teacher? I do, Warren C Paige, math teacher. He made me live geometry. Wish he could have done the same for advanced algebra. Then, maybe I would have gone into engineering as my dad wanted…..nah!

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  2. I have six grandchildren and they have all been affected by this isolation. I am sure it is bittersweet for you and for the children you saw daily. They will learn a lot from these times and those lessons, too, may be bittersweet. I miss your stories, too, and was so happy to see your post here this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Maggie. It is a strange time but we have to keep looking forward. I’ve always believed that in our type of society, things will be figured out and solved. Fingers crossed. I need to write more. It seems that I’ve had a tougher time finding the words for what I want to say. But that’s the challenge, isn’t it? I’m going to try harder. I’m so glad that you like what I write. Take care.

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      1. That’s the challenge of writing. For some, it might be easy, then there is I, the struggler it all strugglers. But, as we said in the Army, ‘keep on truckin’!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah Caldwell the founder of the Boston Opera Group. There is also a weather person named Sarah Caldwell but I don’t think she would have a profound saying. I certainly hope next year is a full year for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is a shame that the coronavirus has changed our lives so much, Steve. My younger son, Michael, had only been at high school for a few months and was just staring to settle in and make friends when all this happened. I feel sorry for our senior kids who are missing out on so much of their final year of high school. At least we are all safe and well and that is the most important thing. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same thing as here, Robbie. In my neighborhood, families who have graduating seniors from high school have a sign in their front yard (front lawn) with the school initials and 2020 (BHS 2020, Graduating Senior). The BHS is Brighton High School. This will be a distant memory in a few years.

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  5. I never had the fortune of a crossing guard. We had to dash across the highway and hope for the best. I like to imagine having you there to safely talk us across.

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  6. Oh, Steve… this is simply beautiful. Thank you, thank you, for capturing the essence of what we’re missing and what happens, all in a heartbeat. I dearly love this post. I look forward to sharing it and adding some of my thoughts, too. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Appreciate your comments, Jennie. We don’t appreciate something until we lose it. I think the kids definitely miss school. A week was okay, maybe two, but they’re anxious to return. Hope we can in Sept.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on A Teacher's Reflections and commented:
    As the school year is quickly coming to an end, it is filled with emptiness. There are no children to hug. There are no “moments” that bring teaching to life. Reflections are wonderful, and Steve the Crossing Guard does just that in his post – the final day at his Curbside Classroom. Read on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie. I’ve seen. Few of the kids and their parents in our neighborhood and they’re all in agreement, everyone misses school. Till would have had a few weeks to go, until the end of June until the real break begins. Take care and keep in touch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Steve. My pleasure, as you are the role model for real teachers. I have to shout that out to the world. See you at the Curbside Classroom in September.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Just sayin’, Steve. Every teacher needs a lotta curbside classroom lessons. 🙂 My pleasure. 😍 And, ‘Fred’ is the greatest complement of all. Best to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I hope we see you back in August – I presume that’s when your new school year starts. Our son had a three year posting to the USA, due to come home this June, but it will be early July. They are not going to let the children go back to school here for our last few weeks of school ( chaos reigns supreme in the UK as to who and when is going to school ), so it will be early September when our school year starts . Our grandchildren will have been out of school for 6 months by then! More importantly they sadly missed celebrating the end of an amazing three years of totally different schooling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our current school year wouldn’t be over until the end of June and start up the first week of September. Is your son in the US? Where in the US? He’s not seeing our best side right now, the ongoing riots are pretty ugly. It sounds like he’s enjoyed his stay here, at least the kids did.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He’s in Las Vegas, at Nellis Air Base, staying in a nice suburb 11 miles from ‘The Strip’. All Brits in the forces are told NEVER talk about religion or politics! They have had a wonderful time, lots of trips to great places, well aware they are living in a bit of a bubble and would not have the same lifestyle if they lived there permanently. Ugly riots for sure, but none of us can be smug; seems hard to believe, but we had riots in London in 2011, a trigger and something boils over with people not listened to.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. R&P, two taboo topics unless you know your company. That’s an unwritten rule that sales people follow when talking to customers or prospects. But everyone talks about it. How can you not talk about politics? I’ll see a
        Comment on thé blog site about politics and it may not be appropriate but you have to let it slide. Las Vegas, I’ve not been there. I would like to see a show there sometime or win some money (don’t want to lose any). I hope he’s had a good experience and got to see what a fantastic country we have. I’ve started a story about our flag/country and want to make it perfect before publishing. Keep your eyes out for it soon. Now, back to taking care of my wife’s gardens. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice to see you here. Jennie woke me to your post. The interaction is what we all miss. Young people need it even more to grow fulling into thinking humans. I can appreciate your floundering without the anchor of daily routine and challenge. Life is ever changing and we must be flexible and adaptable to keep our balance. I’m wondering if classrooms are going to be a thing of the past? But we always need teachers. Every type of teacher. 🙂 Take care.

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    1. Liz, some of the kids live in my neighborhood and I’ve met a few parents this summer. The skuttlebutt is … they do 😉! Seriously, it’s a great group of kids that cross at my post, from middle school boilers thru highschoolers. We enjoy each each other and you can bet that the morning crossings are filled with conversation and feel good moments. School was not supposed to end for another 3 + weeks so we’ve missed a lot since March. Thanks for your nice comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. It’s going to be interesting. I’m not sure the state (NY) has given the local districts (I’m in western NY…Rochester area) much direction yet. It’s such crazy times.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s definitely crazy times. I’m very fortunate to be working remotely for an online college program–although our on-campus program is pretty much turned upside down and inside out.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dan, and I agree. I spent my career in sales and was discussing this issue if staying home to work. We agreed that while you can get some things done, as a salesperson, you need to be sitting in front of your prospect, or client. There’s something about the ‘human touch’ that helps seal the deal. The excitement, spontaneity and personal touch works in a classroom, as well. The sooner it returns, the better. I appreciate your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sure your students miss you just as much, Steve, and have no doubt that they will be back to visit with you as soon as they can. Thanks for your contribution to their education and mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Norah. IAM honestly humbled when I get such nice comments. I’m happy that you enjoy these posts as much as I enjoy writing them. I was caught off guard last week when a youngster passed my house and asked, ‘what’s the question of the day’. I felt wonderful about it. I hope you’ll read some of my other posts, as well. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

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