Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My other kids

Last night one of my seniors from last year posted some pictures on Facebook that we had taken in advisory last year.  They were from only about a week before Tera was born and I had completely forgotten about them until I saw them this morning.

Here is one of the best parts of my job;  I get to know some amazing kids that turn into even more amazing adults.  I am privileged to develop relationships that have lasted years beyond when they leave high school.  There are so many days, especially at this time of year, when the frustration of things almost becomes too much.  But then I am reminded of the truly special students I've had and I know that it's worth it.  I've had two completely unique and fabulous advisories since I started teaching.  I didn't always think that because each group had their own unique "personalities" that made me want to pull my hair out at times, but despite those mischievous moments, I loved them.

When my first advisory graduated, I was lucky enough to be able to sit by three of them during graduation and when that final song played, I cried.  I swore to them when they were freshmen I would be counting the days until they graduated and on that final day, I wasn't sure what I was going to do without them.  Fortunately I still talk to many of them and I can't believe how lucky I am to still have so many of them in my life. 

When my second advisory came along, I wasn't sure how they would compare to my first one.  They definitely filled the void filled by my first one, but not at first.  My love, and patience, for them came slowly just like my first group.  And just like my first group, they were their own challenge.  But these kids came to my baby shower, they voted me teacher of the year when I wasn't even with them for three months, they texted and called me after Tera was born and told me how beautiful she was, they came to visit us at my house while I was on leave, and I definitely cried again at graduation.  They always check to see how she's doing, they adore her, and they've carried their ever growing personalities into successful freshmen years in college and I couldn't be prouder of them.

I will say, I still half expect to see them in the halls at school and when I realize they're gone, I miss them all over again.   I'm not sure how my current advisory will measure up, it's still too early to tell, but I don't necessarily have the same feel for them that I did for my other two.  Part of it may be that I'm in such close contact with both my previous advisories, that I'm not ready for a group to replace them.  Either way, I'm so glad I was able to see those pictures, it reminds me yet again why I do this...

Some of my advisory students "with Tera".  They definitely made me cry when they gave me this picture in a frame after Tera was born.  It currently sits on her bookshelf with all her other pictures. 

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