Today I said goodbye to my 16th class of seniors! They left the halls of high school thinking they own the world, that they are free at last, that they will have no more silly rules to follow and that life is about to become one big party. Bless their hearts. I remember thinking the same thing many years ago. The last day of school is always bittersweet for me. I vacillate between wanting to turn cartwheels down the hall because their senioritis has driven me crazy since March and wanting to bawl my eyes out because I will miss them. (I am so glad I am a southern girl and bawling my eyes out is like a necessary exercise at times!)
See, I LOVE my job. Not every day but overall I am a contented person with my profession. I am totally at peace that this is what God gifted me and tasked me to do. I haven't always felt this way. My parents used to tell me I should be a teacher and my response was always, "Please - people that can't get a real job teach school." I just thought they meant I was bossy. (which I am :))Today after my students left I attended a luncheon for one of our most special students. He is the Student Body president, valedictorian, president of several other organizations, was one of two students in the whole state chosen to attend The United States Senate Youth Leadership program and is going to Howard University in Washington DC on a full scholarship. Unbelievable. That boy is going somewhere. I tell him all the time I want to be him when I grow up. The luncheon today was to honor him for being chosen for yet another scholarship he had won by the company his mom works for. I thought it was going to be a big banquet and was so surprised when I was ushered to a private dining room with him and his parents for just us and the corporate executives there to honor him and give him his scholarship. It was such a privilege to be invited and so touching to observe the pride in his parents for their baby boy. I remember those days very well as three of mine have graduated high school and were all honored for various things. But it was really special to observe these parents today.
I was reminded how as a mama your heart is so full of excitement for the journey they are about to embark upon, yet so broken because you know the family dynamics of your home are never going to be the same. I was also reminded about why I love my job. I get to witness these types of things over and over, year after year. What a blessing. Do you know that teaching is the only profession that touches all other professions? It is so humbling to be a part of the lives of these young people. Nothing makes me happier than to be out somewhere and someone call out to me, "Mrs. Cheney, Do you remember me? You were my teacher!" Yes precious (my husband says I think they are all precious - and I do) I remember you and I thank God that He uses these students to teach me as well.
If I may be an English teacher here for a minute - Our lives truly are books. Some chapters shorter than others,while some more painful to get through. Some chapters we want to read over and over and some we never want to even turn to again. How thankful I am to witness so many "books" on their way out the door. Hopefully many of them will keep in touch and return to visit from time time. I am ever changed for all the ways I have been affected by them and I wish them all well as they find "their way that leads on to another way."
Congratulations Class of 2010!!