A Joyously Reassuring Start To the End of a Horribly Despairing Year

Teachers are like farmers.  We have crops, bugs and weather.  This year the crops have been fine, but the bugs and weather have been some of the worst in my teaching memory.  At times it’s been hard to even consider the crops, what with all the locusts and hailstorms.

But harvest is just about here, and I had the chance tonight to see one of the early indications that maybe the farming season, and the farmers, might get a decent yield after all.

I visited the Albuquerque High School Academic Letter Ceremony this evening, and while I’m not much on ceremonies, tonight’s gave me the chance to catch up with a slew/ton/boatload of former students, both during and after the festivities.  I lost track of how many attendees had spent time in my class way back in their hazy middle school past, but I actually stopped counting because I started feeling a bit guilty.  We “Gifted” teachers have it so, so very easy.  A gym full of hard-working, high-achieving and just darn nice folks, and at least half of ’em were victims of my teaching.

It was kinda nice.

And part of that niceness was the whole “high schoolness” of the shindig, a vibe that contrasts so sharply with attempts at similar events in middle school.   I don’t know if it’s my general aversion to ceremonies, but after six years I’ve still yet to make it through an entire 8th Grade “Graduation” at my current school, or pretty much any gathering of more than 50 people, child and/or adult.

But more of it probably had to do with the fine young people gathered together, and the presence of their deservingly proud parents, teachers and administrators.   I couldn’t help but be a bit proud myself, looking out at all that positive humanity.

The future seems just a little less bleak than it did a few hours ago.  And plenty rosier than it has during the many deluges of a most plagued-filled school year.  I know many of us have considered leaving the teaching farm, me included.  But seeing all those rows tonight standing proud and tall…maybe it’s worth sticking with the farming game a little longer.

No, it’s definitely worth it.

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2 thoughts on “A Joyously Reassuring Start To the End of a Horribly Despairing Year

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I am often struck by how similar my work as a genetic counselor is to yours as a teacher. We give as much as we can to help people along, but we don’t often get to see the fruits of our labor. And we are always swimming against the current of a huge bureaucratic machine that could actually harm the people we are trying to help. It is such a relief when you have evidence that your student/client has thrived despite all that. These reminders that we are doing good work are so few and far between, it is hard to keep the motor going. But when it happens, it is enough to fill you up for another year.

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