Graduation and Reflection

The school year has come to an end. Every May, I reflect back upon my year and evaluate my performance and influence. Four seniors left my program this year as they move on to bigger and brighter things. Seeing those four girls leave is bittersweet.

Each and every one of them has shown great growth and improvement over the past six years that I have known them. Their leadership skills have developed immensely, and they know how to put those skills to good use. It was a struggle for a couple of them to make it to class and fulfill the graduation requirements, but, with encouragement, they made it. I am so proud of these girls and will miss them greatly.

With their departure, I wonder what I could have done differently with this group of students to make their journey the best for them. Did I encourage them enough? Did I push them enough? Did I give them the right balance of teacher and friend? I’d like to think the answer to each of those questions is yes. These seniors helped me re-think the schedule for my Career and Community Connections class, gave me field trip ideas and developed some amazing FCCLA programs. All of their knowledge and dedication to family and consumer sciences will assist me in making the future classes even more successful.

As I write this and think about my students, I am also thinking of the recent tragedy in Oklahoma and the teachers that are now being called heroes. When those students walk into our classrooms, they are no longer just students; they are our kids. We treat them as if they are our own. Parents have trusted us with their most precious commodities. It’s only right of us to do everything in our power to protect them. I will always think of these four recent graduates as “my” kids. Good luck to them, the Classes of 2013, and those rebuilding in Oklahoma!