Last night was graduation at my school. The seniors who have challenged, inspired and surprised us these past four or five years walked across that stage and into their future. A few of them will be heading to college; but for many, graduation is very scary. Graduation signifies an end to a life they have known and the beginning of the unknown. I couldn’t help but think I am in a similar position. I have one week of teaching left at the only teaching job I’ve ever known. And a future that is full of hope and fear.
There have been a few tears this week, and I predict there will be a few more in the final week of my time at the Academy of International Studies. On Wednesday I was called into the principal’s office for an “exit interview.” It was a very awkward conversation, but my principal was doing his best to say his professional goodbye. Or at least that is what I thought. Upon leaving that meeting another teacher swooped in telling me she had a paper in her classroom I needed to read. She said a student had written some really nice stuff about me and that I was going to be missed. So I followed her and another teacher (who is going on leave next year) to her classroom. Upon entering the room I was greeted by shouts of “SURPRISE!” from about 20 students. I was surprised, I screamed and fell back against the wall. Of course they loved it! I am so impressed by them, it is not easy to keep a secret in a school this small and especially since many staff were involved in making sure I would be there for the surprise. They had cake and ice cream and even thank you cards for us (both teachers who are leaving were being celebrated). It was a nice and very thoughtful party. I may have teared up a bit when reading the card! This is a big public thank you to all who made that surprise party happen, you all will be missed and I really loved the party!
The end of something always offers a look at the future and the possibilities. As I prepare to graduate from my first career job, I look forward to what the future brings. But for now, I’m going to watch Rafa kick some arse at the French Open!