It was our last “real” class of the year and one of my students approached me with tears in her eyes – “Mr. Storm, I’m really going to miss you- tomorrow is going to stink.”
That evening I went home and drew one of her favorite cartoon characters and added a quote to it:
The next morning I handed my student this picture and could tell it was what she needed to get through the day. There were a lot of tears, but mixed with those tears were big smiles.
It’s moments like this that make me realize why I teach.
Finding Your Purpose and Meaning
When I was hired for my first teaching job I picked up a book that would forever change my outlook on teaching and on life; Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. It's helped me get through those last days - both professionally, and personally. If you haven’t read it, you should.
One of my favorite quotes from that story is this:
"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." (p.43)
Over the past fifteen years of teaching, I have had fifteen “last days of school”. Fifteen goodbyes, fifteen have a good summers, fifteen see you next years, fifteen of the hardest days of the school year.
Teaching is about developing relationships. I am lucky to have found the purpose and meaning in my life, and it’s called being a teacher.