Friday, May 22, 2015

Year 17...and counting.

Teachers are such unique creatures.  We are by our very nature always in a state of "goodbye".  I find myself contemplating the oddities that seem to follow the life an average American high school teacher.
We begin each year knowing that the "crop" of kiddos we have are destined and even pushed away from us every day with every assignment, discussion, and class.  We hope that they are making the ever growing leaps in the increase of their knowledge and we, like the "greater fools" hope we have made a difference in their lives in some way.

This year, like all the other years, Fisherman and I have been counting down to TODAY.  Today, we checked out (both literally and mentally) of school for the year.  We were issued our little "sign-off" sheets which include items such as - bookroom clerk signature, department chair signature, computer clean-out signature, classroom clean-up....again, signature.  The last two "signatures" are where we turn in our ID badges and our keys. And so, with paper completely checked off, I ended my 17th year of teaching.
I love what I do.  It bears repeating...I. Love. What. I. Do.  I chose to be a teacher out loud and on purpose.  I did not just fall into teaching.  I most certainly do not approach my classes in that manner.  I passionately, wholeheartedly believe in the youth of society.  Do they mess up from time-to-time?  Do they occasionally make poor decisions? Do they listen to music that makes me want to peel my own ears off?  Do I have to repeat myself in my classroom at least 5 times daily?  Do freshmen know that bringing shaving cream to school just reaffirms to the upperclassmen that they are freshmen...yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes!  And, yet, I love what I do.
Photo: Gary Herron
This year...year 17 I had students in my AP class who obliterated the bell curve with every test.  This year, year 17, I had students who could write so eloquently that I had to examine my own writing, just  to see how I could improve my own.  This year, year 17, I pushed myself to the absolute breaking point and realized that I am continually buoyed by my students and their ability to read a piece of literature wherein every student in the class can (and typically does) have a valid but varied opinion about the topic at hand.  Finally, this year, year 17, I had students that I dearly loved and I said goodbye to them today and they repeated the very same sentiment that has been echoed to me year after year..."Mrs. Seiler, this was by far THE MOST difficult class I have ever taken, but I know I learned more than I ever have, so thank you" {{heart melting}}.

...with miles to go before I sleep,

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