It’s cold. It’s raining. I’m wearing a sweater as I write this, yet it’s late May and the “countdown” is on. Here at Downers Grove North High School, we officially have two days of instruction and three days of finals left before we can turn off our alarms and turn on the relaxation for a few months.
It’s at this time of the year that I always write some sort of year-end blog post. Typically I wait for that right moment of inspiration to drive me to the keyboard, and that moment happened just this past Friday on our seniors’ last day of classes.
It was like any other last day for the seniors, with former students randomly popping in to say “thank you” and “goodbye.” It really is a lovely and bittersweet day. And then a timid knock quietly reverberated from my door.
I finished typing a sentence and looked up to see Robert. A quiet and, on the surface, mostly disinterested student when I taught him as a freshman, he was the last student I expected to visit. After we chatted for a bit and he turned to leave my classroom, I knew what my year-end blog post would be.
Some of the best lessons come from some of the most unexpected moments in teaching in the form of small gifts from the students we teach. In short, this post is a thank you to my students for teaching me so much more than I could ever teach them.