Last Week in the Classroom

This will be my last week in the classroom as a teacher, a spot I’ve held for 32 years.😊 It seems kind of surreal that I have been a teacher for that long AND that it’s going to be over. I had a front-row seat to some pretty remarkable🎉 things and some incredibly tragic😪 things. I’ve laughed and cried as I learned right alongside my students.

To say that these last couple of years were difficult would be an understatement.😳 I’ve been in a classroom long enough to see changes. I’ve watched educational trends come and go. 🔀I’ve faced challenges along the way.🛑 But- nothing could prepare anyone working in schools for the last couple of years. I’m exhausted. 😔We’re all exhausted. 😔I’m grateful that my retirement came at this time because – like so many other educators and school employees- I’d be considering how to get out if I wasn’t retiring.🤔

You have to know something about teachers, though. We do not choose this profession because of 💰money or benefits packages. We go into this knowing that those perks won’t ever be there. We understand that much of our 💰salary will go back into our classrooms, whether for 📚books and supplies or 🍎food for hungry kids. We know this- and we choose it anyway.

You see, it’s not about the extrinsic rewards. We are teachers because we 💝love kids, and we want to make a difference in their lives. We do it to be part of something bigger than ourselves. You will not find a group of professionals with more ❤️heart than people who devote their careers to schools.

That’s what we are- by the way. Professionals.💯 Even though our 💰salaries don’t reflect this, you can’t be a teacher without a college degree that includes specific coursework, just like 🏨doctors or lawyers. We must understand the subject matter we are teaching and brain theories, the latest research about learning styles, behavior management, child development, and more.

I bet you can think back to your childhood and remember a teacher who made a difference in your life. I know that I can. I’m grateful for those people who invested in me throughout the years. I chose to be a teacher as a direct result of their efforts. Even though my bank account doesn’t match what other professionals might have at the end of a 32-year career, I am much richer in the ways that truly matter in this life.😍 To my students, thank you for allowing me to be your 🍎teacher. It was my honor to serve you.💖

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