"This post is part of the #EdublogsClub – a group of educators and edtech enthusiasts that blog around a common theme each week.
Oral histories are how society passes on cultural beliefs and experiences. In the modern day, blogging has become a surrogate for those histories. Stories interpret our experiences and help others learn about the worlds around them. They help us connect on an emotional level and create empathy."
This week's task is to write a post that tells a story so here goes...
This week has been the much longed-for Spring Break at my school. That has given me time
to catch up on emails and think about not only how the year is going but to reflect on it in comparison to years past. With just over a month left of school when we return next week, it's a good time to reflect. And what I have found myself thinking about is how many students I have had the privilege of working with over my years in education. After 25+ years, I have gotten to work with just a few students. My Facebook feed is now bursting with updates from many of those former students. There is a lot that I am proud of when scrolling through their posts. I see teachers, lawyers, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, moms, future politicians. All confident individuals that I was lucky enough to have shared time with during their high school years. Of course, not all of their journeys were easy, and there were some who "just barely" graduated and we sent off not sure what would happen next.
Recently at a gathering at my school to honor a former teacher, over 300 alumnae attended. One of those "just barely graduated" young women was in attendance! It was so uplifting (and comforting) to see her. She excitedly shared all that she was up to and expressed gratitude to us for having not given up on her. She also said something that surprised me: "I'm sorry it took me so long to grow up." I was thrilled to see that a student who left us with an uncertain future was doing great. Bonus: she had become a mature, reflective individual.
This encounter left me so inspired. Education is certainly an amazing career choice. And those of us who have been at it for any length of time at all know that we learn more from our students than they learn from us. Running into this particular former student helped remind me that:
1. Our students NEVER stop teaching us
2. We NEVER stop learning
3. We can't EVER give up on our students
Photo by author
At this point in the school year, I think these reminders are particularly timely. I don't know a teacher who isn't looking forward to graduation day. The seniors especially, are quickly wearing out their welcome (as my grandmother would have said). But none the less, we have to keep teaching and inspiring, despite the mounting spring fever in our young charges. This recent encounter is definitely the shot-in-the-arm that I needed to stay focused and continue to give every student as much support and encouragement as I can to help them (and me) finish the year strong.
What stories do you have from the year that you draw inspiration from?