We finished watching Freedom Writers on Monday, but because we got a surprise snowstorm, attendance was low, so I’ve been playing the end of the movie at lunch for the kids who were gone.
The movie ends at the close of sophomore year, when the students find out that they’re going to stay together for junior and senior year too, and will have Ms. Gruwell as a teacher again. It’s a triumphant moment for them, and very sweet to watch because they’re all so excited. You feel how much they love her, and how much they love each other. It's really nice.
After the movie ended and I turned the lights back on, a student turned to me. “Can YOU do that?”
“Can I do what?”
“Go with us to seventh grade.”
I explained that my school doesn’t work that way, that though I’d love to, it’s just not how we do things. There would have to be an opening, and right now there isn’t one. He nodded, and another student asked me something else, and the moment passed. But.
Not everyone would feel that way, I know that. I’m sure plenty of my students will be delighted to move on to a new teacher and not have to deal with my temper and standards. But for the rest of the day, I felt a little crystal of joy in everything I did.