Monday, May 25, 2009

Gruaduation Day

Yesterday was graduation day at the high school where I teach, and since I won't be back next year it felt like graduation day for me too. Right now, I am filled with mixed emotions, maybe even more mixed than those of the graduates. I told several of my seniors, who were the first class I taught 3 years ago when I started, that at my own high school graduation I had expected to cry and then realized that I was in fact ready to move on. One of them came and told me afterwards that I was totally right, that she'd had no need for tears. I, on the other hand, cried buckets.

I don't know if that means that I'm not ready to leave, that I just haven't accepted yet that I'm leaving, that their graduation makes me feel old, that I cried because I'm so proud of them and their many accomplishments (which I am), or just that I'm an old sap and Pomp and Circumstance still makes me get a little weepy like it did for most of my high school career. I've never been especially good at change, and even though I tell myself that I'm ready for this one, it still comes at me all of a sudden.

But yesterday wasn't about me. It was about the graduates, my first little darlings, and all they've learned and achieved. It's scary to watch them turn into such mature and likeable adults (and some not so much), but at the same time it gives me a certain sense of peace and calm. I know that it's time for them to go out into the world, and that they are ready and will do great things. If anyone asks me any time soon why it is that I love being a teacher, the answer will be fairly easy.