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Teacher Appreciation Week

Last night I went to visit some of my girls from my old school for their spring recital.  For a few of them, it’s their last recital since they are graduating next month.

Since one of the graduates went out of her way to invite me, there was no way I was going to miss it.

I love seeing them; even if it means navigating Baltimore City at night, I will go to anything they invite me to.

I walked in about five minutes after the recital started so a lot of them saw me come in but they have enough decency to stay in their seats.  So when the show ended, all of them just bombarded me and my friend (who was also a teacher in my old school); hugging and yelling and shrieking, etc.  It was a spectacle.

We stayed for a good hour after the show just talking to the girls, catching up with them, finding out what was going on in their lives.  And then I drove home and it made me realize how much I missed them.

I mean, obviously our school is gone so there is no going back.  And I do really like the school I am at now.  But those girls……they are irreplaceable to me.

My Counseling Chair said to me awhile ago that my heart isn’t fully here at our school yet and she understands that it may not be for awhile.  After last night, I wholeheartedly agree with that,  I love my new school and the students are great, but these girls last night are special to me.  And for as long as they are still in school, they will be. I can’t change that fact.

I made this status on Facebook last night:

Some people have questioned why I stay in private school when I could “easily” go into a public school system.

I sometimes wonder the same.

But tonight, I got to see some of my Keough girls perform their spring concert at their new school. And while all of them caused a raucous at the end of the show to see me; there was one of my former students who started sobbing the second she saw me. I asked her why she was crying; all she could say was “I miss you; I didn’t know you were going to be here”.

I feel lucky that I still get to see them from time to time. And even if it means navigating the city at night; I will go to anything they invite me to.

They are part of the reason I stay.

I was also really fortunate this year to not only have a new position when I needed one but to find a school that welcomed me so openly and with so much love. In some ways I already feel like I’ve been there for years.

I’m not saying you don’t form relationships in public schools; hell I’m a product of public schools; I’ll never knock them.

But all these people are why I stay in private schools.

At this point, hell would probably have to freeze over for me to go public.

It’s currently Teacher Appreciation Week and most educators will tell you; they still don’t often feel appreciated even during this week.

Most will also tell you I’m not a teacher, so I’m fully in this week; which is true, though most lump me into the teacher category anyway.

But, last night, having all of my former students around me; even though they were loud as hell and causing a scene as the show ended, happy to see me, telling me everything about them that I’ve missed – that’s the best gift I could have received for Teacher Appreciation Week.

This is always a rough time of the year; for most of us we’re in the home stretch but the finish line seems so far away.  If you’re a teacher, administrator, counselor, etc; we’re almost done for the year.  Just remember why you’re doing this; the lives you’re helping even if you aren’t seeing it as much as you would like, and that summer is almost here.

To all of my fellow educators, I appreciate all of you so much and I hope these last few weeks are easy for you.

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