Tomorrow I start my 34th year of teaching. Wow, that is a looooong time. You know what? I still love what I do. Part of the reason is because I have worked in several different schools at several different grade levels. By making these moves I have been able to stay fresh and interested, and I have also had to do a lot of learning along the way which to me has been energizing.
Years ago when I told my principal of the elementary school where I had worked for 12 years that I was leaving and moving to a library position serving middle and high school, she asked me why. She said that she believed working with younger students was so much more rewarding for the teacher, and that teachers of younger students made a bigger impact on those students' lives than teachers of older students.
I beg to differ on that point.
This will be my 9th year at Patrick Taylor Academy, and over my time teaching there, I have served as a mentor for a number of students. Students who still call, text or Facebook me to ask my advice or tell me about the wonderful things that they are doing. I love having these lasting connections.
The class of 2014 was a very special one. It was our first class to start in 6th grade and then graduate from 12th grade. Many of the members of the class were library kids who spent a lot of time with me over those seven years that they attended PFTSTA. I lost twelve members of the high school library book group, Bookmarked, with their graduation. At our back to school BBQ over the weekend, two of my very favorite alums from that class paid a visit. I hugged them and cried and told them how much they will be missed. I hope they believe me because it is true.
I also got something from them in return. I got two lovely notes expressing thanks and appreciation for what I did to help them through their career at PFTSTA. I hope that they don't mind if I share the notes here. These notes are why I wake up each morning and go to work. They give my job meaning and also lots of pleasure.
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Even though I have been teaching for more than three decades, I still feel that I have a lot to offer my students. I also have a lot more to learn because in the library every day is a new day. Here is to a new year, and I can't wait to see what new and exciting learning it brings to me and all of my students.