It's the end of another school year. Despite my griping about 5am mornings, long drives, and general student ass-hat-ery, I always get a little weepy on the last day of school. As students file out, I am reminded of the first day. I can't help but think how far they've come (hopefully) and the fun I've had (most days). The hardest part of teaching is always the letting go. But I finally have enough experience to know that, as sad as it is, come September I'll have a whole new group of students who will quickly consume my time and replace the old. I'll fall in love with 190 new kids next year. They'll make me laugh (and want to tear my hair out) all over again, and the cycle will continue. It's beautiful.
One of my favorite traditions at my high school is one a science teacher started. On the last day, she gives students the opportunity--it is not required--to write thank you cards to teachers who made a difference in their lives that year. She delivers them to all the teachers after school as a reminder that, despite the stress, pain, and parent emails (let's be honest people), what we do does matter. My cards this year made me laugh, but one card made me tear up. It was utterly unexpected. It meant a lot to me, and so I want to share it here, not to brag, but to remind teachers everywhere that--spoken or not--our students appreciate and care about what we do.
Mrs. H---Thank you so much for being an amazing teacher this year. You didn't just teach me about english, but you pushed me to be confident in myself. You made me want to try harder and be a better person. Thank you so much for everything. I couldn't ask for a better english teacher! My dad says you'll always remember at least one teacher from high school and you're that teacher for me. I look forward to your class everyday & I'll definitely miss it! Love you. :) -K----
We become teachers to change lives. But to all the students out here, here's a little secret:
You change ours, too.