Bittersweet Goodbyes

I would love to write an beautifully eloquent post like Alicia did here, but I honestly don’t have it in me right now. I said goodbye to most of my sophomores today. I managed to keep myself together until the last hour of the day: my favorite class. Before school, two of the girls from that class came by and gave me flowers and a present. They asked me to open the present in seventh hour…I didn’t cry until I opened it. Yesterday we went outside to enjoy the nice weather and the girls had a classmate take a photo of the three of us. The present was the photo, enlarged and in a frame they had decorated. The class was full of thoughtful, sweet kids like that. I’m heartbroken to think that I won’t be there to watch them continue to grow and graduate.

As teachers, we try very hard not to have “favorite” students, or at least not to show favoritism. I have a few students from this year that I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life. The sweet girls who told me that I was an inspiration. The ones who wrote me notes telling me that I’m their favorite teacher (these are high school sophomores…they don’t say that to adults very easily). Best of all, though, was the note from my favorite student. He told me that I am the first teacher to have a significant impact on his life. That’s why I teach. I want to make a difference, and teaching is my calling. Yeah, yeah, it sounds silly, but it truly is a calling. I can’t imagine loving another job as much. I should say I love the teaching part – I’m not so fond of the meetings, administrative garbage, or political b.s. that’s present in every school.

So much for an upbeat post. To counteract the depressing thoughts, here is a completely ridiculous song from Cheryl Wheeler, one of my favorite folk singers…

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