May 14, 2014 | Volume 101 / Number 20

A Teacher's First-Year Students Graduate

Congratulations Class of 2014!

Graduation holds a special meaning for me this year.

In 2007, I accepted a 7th grade teaching position at GHS. I was a little skeptical because I desired to teach younger students. The position was for an overflow teacher, which meant I did not have my own classroom and I taught math, science and social studies.

I began the year with ideas and procedures to make my teaching fun and effective. It was quite difficult to coordinate all the little things that need to come together to make a classroom a fun learning experience. I had to prepare for three different classes, in addition to all the other responsibilities a teacher has.

I was a little anxious and very excited that first day of school but then I met my students, the class of 2014. In they walked that first day, a bit apprehensive themselves wondering about the new teacher in a new school building. The youngest in the school and battling tall high school students in the hallways between classes added to the first-day jitters.

Nevertheless, these students were always polite and engaged. We slowly got to know each other and I found teaching these students gratifying and fun. We did many activities together in class and I discovered I do like teaching older students. The interaction was always educational as we learned about government and society, diversity and culture. We planned activities together and conducted debates that could have gone on forever. These students took an active interest in making the world a better place.

Throughout my years of teaching, as I met new classes, I found each had their own charm but none compare to that first class, that first year. This graduating class is made up of my first-year students and I am very proud of each one. They are a close-knit group with many talents and skills. They truly care about each other and are supportive and kind. They are fun-loving achievers who understand the value of a good education and appreciate the effort teachers put forth. They taught me as much as I taught them, if not more. I trust they will be successful as citizens of our ever-changing global society wherever they may go.

Today I would like to express my gratitude and delight in being a part of their lives and future. I am pleased to have been their teacher for a short time and I hope that my influence will remain with them as my words echo, “Always do the right thing and do it to the best of your ability.”

So today I wish you all the joy and blessings your hearts can hold and I look forward to hearing from you in the future as you share your success. There is no greater accomplishment than to have touched the life of a child. I hope you are as rich as I because of our mutual experiences at GHS.

Good luck and God bless you all!

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