The kindergarten student cleans off his desk, snaps his backpack shut, and walks to his teacher’s desk.
“I have decided to thank you before I go home,” the boy says.
“You’re welcome,” his teacher says. “I hope you have enjoyed this first week.”
“You were a good teacher, but I won’t see you again,” the boy says.
The teacher smiles and closes the lesson plan book in which she was writing. “Certainly you will, Bradley. I will see you Monday morning. I have many interesting things planned for next week.”
“I will not be here.”
“I’m very sorry to hear that. Is your family moving?”
“Then why won’t you be here Monday?”
“I wanted to learn to write my name and tie my shoes, and I learned those things this week. I don’t have to come back now.”
“I don’t remember any lessons on shoe-tieing.”
“Minnie Thompson showed me how at recess.”
“That was nice of Minnie, and I’m happy that your name-writing went so well, but aren’t there other things you want to learn.”
“If there are, I will come back.”
“Have you talked with your parents about this?”
“I will tell them tonight.”
“They may imagine a few more things that they’d like you to study.”
“Why would I let someone else decide what I should learn?”
“Sometimes other people know better than we do what’s good for us.”
“Why would anyone stay in school to learn things other people choose?”
“Some don’t. Some stay in school as long as they have to and then they leave.”
“I’m not surprised.”
“I’m not either, but every time I hear that a former student has left school, I feel sad,” the teacher says.
“Don’t be sad about me,” Bradley says. “I had a good week.”
“I guess that’s enough for now,” the teacher says, and she hugs Bradley–a quick, for-the-weekend hug; not a have-a-nice-life hug.