Another year comes to close. Where does the time go? We started in August with freshman orientation and in what seems like just a few minutes later, we are getting ready to say goodbye to our seniors. This is always a bittersweet time of year for me. I am so happy to witness the accomplishments of our students. Like any other school we have our top achieving students who are amazing in every sense of the word. They have received full ride scholarships to prestigious universities and earned the accolades that have been bestowed upon them. So much hope, so much promise. There are so many moments to remember. Every once in a while a student says something that just makes every minute of toil worth spending. A moment to say “ah, this is why I do what I do!” The other day, in a nonchalant way, a student walked up to me and the assistant principal and said “I want to thank you guys for turning me around and setting me straight. Without you two, I would have never made it.” He made my day. No, he made my year! That kind of feedback, just once every so often, is all I need to keep doing this job I have been blessed with. Often I am asked this time of year, “Bet your glad the year is over?” I can honestly say no. I miss the kids almost as soon as they are gone. I miss being able to tease them. To witness their unabashed energy and their ability to see things through a lens (youth) I no longer have. They are not jaded by a view clouded by age and disappointments. They are so capable and talented and when they choose to tap into those qualities they have very few boundaries to what they can do. It is my hope that they choose work hard and realize the only real boundaries they face are between their ears.
As I reflect on this year, I can’t help but acknowledge that I have spent too much time lamenting on the current state of education. Although it is troubling to think that we are evermore tied to test scores and a common core of learning objectives and concepts to be covered, I know deep in my heart that we still get to touch the lives of so many people and make a difference every day we step into our “learning” world. Education reformers can talk about “value added measures” and achievement scores all they want but if they have never been in a school and worked with kids today, they have no idea how to measure the value of the statement “I want to thank you guys for turning me around and setting me straight.” I am truly blessed to get to do what I do! Sometimes it hard to say, or the words just come out wrong, so I have to say I love my job in a blog….. (My apologies to Jim Croce)