Goodbye

Amman, Jordan

Today was my last day at the Modern American School. It was an odd day, because I’d been asked not to tell the students I was leaving, which in retrospect was the right decision, as you will see. This meant, however, that every time the kids said something about next week, I had to either lie or, whenever possible, evade.

I had forgotten, until the end of the day, that Ranjith’s parents will not be able to come to Parent-Teacher Conferences on Saturday, and had asked to meet with me after school today instead. When he and his wife and both children showed up at the classroom door, I invited them in and we all sat down at a classroom table, and we had our PT Conference. Because I had been asked not to tell the kids I was leaving, and Ranjith and some of the other kids were running about the room, I didn’t mention it. Ranjith is a joy to have in class, and a model student, and that was pretty much all I had to say, over and over. In return, his parents said that Ranjith absolutely adores me, and talks about me all the time, and argues constantly with his little sister about whose teacher is better. Ranjith’s father said with a grin, “He used to be really proud that I speak 5 languages, but now he says, ‘You only speak Indian languages, and Miss Maryah speaks 5 international languages!'”

Then they wanted to meet with my supervisor, so I set up that meeting and sent them off.

Twenty or thirty minutes later, they were back, and Ranjith and his mother were both in tears. And all I could say, over and over, was, “You’ll get an even better teacher and this is the best thing for everyone,” and hope that this will prove true.

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