The Greatest Thing About Being An Educator

May 18, 2015

You know what all teachers love about teaching?

The students go away for a couple of months.

Don’t pretend you don’t understand. By the end of the summer, the kids are climbing the walls and parents can’t wait to get them back to school.

Of course, teachers are happy to see the kids again. A summer break does everyone a lot of good.

Teaching is unique like this, in that it has an end and then a beginning. Every year, there is a chance to start fresh. There is a time set aside for rest, for thinking creatively about the future. There is a time for desks to get scrubbed and fresh paper to be put up on bulletin boards and a time to dream of new possibilities. It’s like a giant reset button. I don’t know what we teachers would do without the reset button.

The reset button comes at a cost though.

This weekend was graduation, and so after the ceremony, I made the rounds to open houses, to celebrate with kids. It’s sad to see kids go. Senior year is an extraordinary time for most of them, and us as teachers. They are the most “adult” of all the students and they often do the most to take charge in the school.

Every year, it’s bittersweet to send the seniors away to college, just like it is for their parents. Every year, seniors will be seventeen and eighteen – it is only us teachers who get older. This year, I am one more year further away from the seniors than I was last year.

Some of us shake our heads and wonder what we will do without these kids.

But then summer comes. And a new group of kids. And you start all over. And just when you are getting into a groove, graduation happens.

Most of your lives probably are not ordered this way, but I can tell you, it is a wonderful, albeit sometimes painful rhythm. Getting to have a giant reset button, a “new beginning” every year is like that. But if you can find a way to give your life, your career, your relationship a reset, a rhythm, a new beginning, I highly recommend it.

endings