In the fall of 2014, I entered the classroom as a student teacher, ready to complete my final semester before becoming an actual teacher.
To say that I was nervous would be the understatement of the century. How was this going to go? How would I do? Would I “pass” this final course on my path to becoming a teacher?
Being the self-centered jerk that I can very often be, I was only concerned with myself. I had forgotten something important.
I had forgotten that I wasn’t the only one entering the room for a new experience that day.
There were 150-ish students who I would interact with over the next twelve weeks in varying ways. Some of them I would very soon teach, some I would work with as their regular classroom teacher, my mentor, taught.
What began that fall was an adventure none of us will forget.
The following fall, I got the privilege to teach many of those same students, along with some new ones, as I began my career in that same school.
We became the crash test dummies for everything educational technology and crazy math.
Of course, very often we were just silly.
And teachers, I hope you all know that’s 100% fine sometimes.
We grew together over that first year, then they went on to new adventures. I would see them from time to time in the hallways or as they would drop by my room or office.
Today is their last day as students. Tomorrow, they walk across the stage on a sunny Saturday morning along the hallowed grounds of their high school football field.
Tomorrow, they transition into the next phase of their lives. They’ll leave me and the vast majority of their other teachers behind. Many of them will likely not have a second thought about me and that’s ok.
I can only hope that, during our brief time together, I was able to make a positive impact.
Because they most certainly made an impact on me.
They are and always will be my first students. I am forever grateful that they bought into the madness, hopped on the bus, and came along for the ride of our lives.
Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s endSemisonic
This is the end of one journey for them and the beginning of another.
As it is for me. This is the first group of my students I will say goodbye to as their former teacher. Three more classes will come through who I taught before moving out of the classroom into a district-wide position.
I will miss them all and will always question, “did I do enough?”
Time will tell, but from the responses I’ve gotten so far from some of them, I think I’ve done alright by them.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”— Ralph Waldo Emerson