Thursday, June 09, 2005


Today was the last day of school for this school year. For the first time, my daughter is not excited about it. She came home in tears.

It was a tough year for her. Early in the year there were days when she wished it was summer already. Throughout the year there was plenty of adversity, but in the end it made her stronger. She learned to shrug off the bullying (most of the time) and developed some close friendships. She'll be seeing her friends during the summer, so why is she so sad?

It's the teachers.

She had a great bunch of teachers this year and felt very close to a couple of them. She was actually looking forward to summer until it hit her that she would never have these particular teachers again. Leaving today was very difficult. She couldn't even say good-bye.

As I write this she is with a friend, and I'm left pondering the impact these teachers had on her. I can't help but think that part of her ability to shrug off the bullies was the support she got from them. I saw enormous personal growth in her this year, and they get some of the credit for that.

It's obvious they care a lot about the kids they teach. I can't help but wonder if they are feeling as sad as she is. I'm sure that in a way it's like any other job and they are happy to have the summer off. Yet they know they will never have another group quite like this year, and they have to watch kids they've grown to care about move on.

And they do this every single year.

I am writing this as a way to say thank you to all the teachers who teach because it their passion. As in any field, there are teachers that feel it is just a job. The teachers my daughter had this year, though, are not among that group.

To all you who teach because that's who you are, thank you. You most definitely change lives.