Wednesday, June 18, 2008

THE END OF AN AMAZING SCHOOL YEAR: I'm Almost Speechless! :)

Coach John Wooden once said, "Success is peace of mind that is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of being."

I LOVE this quote and this week it says it all!

This is the end of my 42nd year of teaching...that's right...42nd!! Those who know me know that I LOVE this job and often say that I have the best job in the world! Working with students and seeing them become self-empowered as learners and as human beings is what I am called to do. As a teacher I am honored to facilitate that process.

However, over the years, I have discovered that very few people "get" what teaching is all about.

I've learned to smile when I hear comments about how I only work nine months of the year or have an easy job. I not only smile at those comments, often made by the night shift at Safeway who check out my groceries at 5:30 am every morning when I am on my way to SCC, but laugh outloud at them at the end of the school year!

I see 93 students every day. I had 93 take home tests to grade, 93 final projects to read and comment on, and 93 students to say goodbye to in one day. Then there were a gazillion meetings, wrap ups of accreditation findings, classroom cleanup (still to do), revamping of curriculum (still do do)...the list goes on and on.

It reminds me of people's comments about being a Mom. Unless you are simply don't get it!

And yet all this work, time, energy, and love paid off when on Monday afternoon at the Opera House I watched student after student, and amazing story after amazing story, cross that stage, receive a college diploma, and have their pictures taken with the Governor, who was our graduation speaker.

The tears rolled down my face as Bob Chambers (age 50) in his wheel chair, from muscular dystrophy as a small child, got a diploma after 27 years of taking class at a time, often having to drop out because of poor health!

I stood up and cheered when Angela Loofts got her RN degree and had an honor chord around her neck. She wrote me a thank you letter that I will keep forever. Her courage is inspirational to everyone who knows her! SCC gave these folks a second chance at having a life they love and are proud of! Being a teacher to Bob and Angela was an honor and blessing for me!

I love my job. It's the best job in the world! But it isn't easy!

As my daughter Jessi said, and she is also a teacher, I have been "sucked into the vortex of the end of the school year!" Yup...that says it all. I am still reeling from the after shock.

Yet when I look back, take a deep breath, and survey this year of being a teacher...I have a deep sense of peace and satisfaction. I gave it everything I had, every day! I am working to be the best person I can be and always doing my best (one of the "Four Agreements"). I will always be working to improve the kind of teacher I am. Even after 42 years I have alot to learn!

This morning I am tired, picking up the pieces, and trying once again to find some balance in my life that always seems to weigh in heavily with work. I need to go to school to pick up a student award and do some xeroxing. Summer is here, but not quite yet.

Tonight I am taking one whole class out to dinner on me...the class who put on the Communications Conference in May! We'll meet at Linnie's Thai Cuisine on the south hill, laugh, tell stories, and have closure! I truly learned about servant leadership from this amazing group!
After the dinner is over, and I give them all hugs, I'll drive home feeling blessed that God allowed me to be their teacher and a part of their lives!

The summer will hold consulting, time at the lake, the annual spiritual retreat to Cannon Beach, other family events, and some needed sleep. But already I smile a bit just thinking about next fall...and doing it all again!

I really DO have the best job in the world!

God Bless!
Love and hugs to all who read this!

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