March 13, 2018: Graduates and Graduation

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

-E.E. Cummings 

I have some exciting news (at least I think it is exciting). My student teaching class is graduating this May!

A fact I shared with a meeting group a month or more ago was that I had always taught 5th grade. This is true. Junior block, I was in a 5th grade class. Student teaching, I was in a 5th grade class. The last 7 years, I’ve taught in a 5th grade class.

Well, this year is my first classes graduation. Because I only taught for a few lessons in Junior Block, I am counting my Student teaching as my first class. Irving Elementary of Joplin, Mo was a great place to get my first real taste of teacher-dom.

Every year I make a promise to my class on the last day of school. “I will be at your graduation to watch you walk across that stage.”

Every once in a while I get a student who gets me started on a conversation along the lines below.

“What if we don’t graduate at Webb City, will you still come to our graduation?”

“If it is at all within my power to do so, yes! If I can’t get there I still want a graduation announcement that tells me where to send a card.”

“Where do we send it?” They ask.

“Send it here. If for some reason I don’t teach here, someone will know how to get ahold of me. But there’s also this handy thing called the internet. If I’m not teaching here, I’ll be teaching somewhere, find me! I wan’t that graduation announcement!”

“Why, Miss Koch?”

“I wan’t you to know you’re not just my student when your sitting in my class. When I’m sitting at your graduation I’m going to lean over to the person next to me and whisper, ‘I was their teacher!’ If I only get your announcement I’m going to put it up on a wall and do the same thing to anyone who passes and will listen, ‘I was their teacher,’ I’ll brag!”

“Why will you brag?”

“Because I’ll be proud of what you accomplished!”

“It’s just high school.”

“No. It’s the celebration of the previous 13 years of your life. It’s a recognition of how hard you’ve worked how long you’ve spent preparing yourself to be strong enough to reach for what ever you want out of life. Whether you graduate at the top of your class or somewhere in all the rest of the faces, I’ll be proud! You stuck with it and you made it. No matter what I’ll be honored I got to be a small role in your life story.”

If you’re wondering, I’m already plotting out that wall. I want it to be like some OBGYN’s post pictures of all the babies they’ve delivered into the world. I may not have brought them into the world, but I was a small part of sending them into it. I don’t ever want to take that for granted!

If anyone is attending Joplin’s 2018 High School Graduation, I’ll be there with bells on (as my mom says)!

-Happy Tuesday!



One thought on “March 13, 2018: Graduates and Graduation

  1. Julie Stover says:

    I love this more than you’ll ever know!!! What an awesome thing to do for your students…even after they have flown from your nest!


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