I left my house Friday at 6:35 AM, and returned at 10:15 PM. But I didn’t feel worn out. Quite the opposite.
My students worked hard on their resumés. I had that first twinge of sadness in my class of mostly seniors–I only have two days left with them. I helped supervise a yearbook launch party and caught up with some colleagues I hadn’t seen in a while. Went to dinner with friends. Worked in my classroom for a while, played piano at the Pops concert, and then, the best part.
A former student–a member of my speech team who graduated 5 years ago–was at the Pops concert to see her brother perform. We arranged to say a quick hello after the concert. She looked grown, and I wasn’t prepared for that. I’ve stayed in contact with kids from my speech team through lunches and movies here and there, but this student and I never had compatible schedules. Until Friday night.
We didn’t have a lot of time, but we caught up as much as we could. She now teaches English and coaches Speech, and she talked about her students with the same passion I talk about mine.
It was hard to not get a little choked up as I listened to her talk. I was just so proud of her. It’s one of those moments that I tried to commit to memory so I can recall it on days I wonder why I even show up to work.
I don’t have kids of my own, so I don’t exactly relate to a mother-child relationship. But throughout my career, I’ve been privileged to teach a handful of students who, once graduated, still let me know what they are doing, invite me to weddings, ask if I have time to meet them for lunch. And I’m so proud of every single one of them. It makes the rough days so worth it.