The end of the school year is always a melancholy, contemplative time for teachers. We send students off to their next challenges with all the knowledge and experiences we were able to give them during the year. It is also the time of the teacher retirement ceremony, where we say goodbye and farewell to those who have devoted their adult life to the education of children. The true impact of these sad farewells won’t be felt until next fall when that trusted resource, a wealth of experience and information, is no longer with us. But then we will add new teachers, young and full of enthusiasm and energy. It takes both kinds, really, to balance out a good educational staff.
I paused from packing down my classroom for the year to reflect on the year. About then, a teacher I’ve worked with for the past few years came by and put a piece of paper on my desk. It was a page from a teacher’s calendar. By the time I had read it, she had almost slipped out.
Those teachers with the patience to stay true to the task, those teachers with the skill to bring order to the confusion, those teachers with a kind and understanding heart to see all children as capable and worthy, those teachers who teach special education children – these are truly the “saints of education.” – Harry and Rosemary Wong
“Thank you very much, but I don’t think I deserve this.” She turned before she left and said simply, “Yes, you do.”