It’s also a time when all of a sudden we have those “This is why it’s all worth it” moments. Maybe it’s students’ final presentations that exceeded expectations or a gift from that quiet student you weren’t sure you had made an impact upon. Maybe it’s getting that senior to pass whom you’ve struggled to motivate all year, or maybe it’s the hugs students are so quick to give when they realize they did well on an assignment or quiz.
Not having my own students anymore, I’ve discovered those little moments pop up in different forms these days. I had the honor of visiting the journalism students for Etiwanda High School this week, led by Ms. Bernadine Judson, to observe their capstone projects. Groups of students partnered together to research their topics, put together segments of interviews and footage, and then publish their video to PBS’s site. From start to finish, these students conducted themselves and presented themselves professionally. They created samples of work that will demonstrate to future colleges and employers the skills they’ve developed and honed in their time in Ms. Judson’s program. They worked with professionals in the industry to produce quality work, work they could be proud of. And they were proud. It came through in their presentations, in their segments, and in their smiles. They tackled difficult and sensitive topics, from wifi access in lower-socioeconomic communities, to breaking gender stereotype boundaries. And I thought, “This is why we do it. This is why we are in education.”
As you move to the end of the year, I hope you’re finding your “This is why we do it” moments. I hope you’re getting the necessary reminders of why you work so hard throughout the year. Of course summer brings rejuvenation and reflection, but I hope these last couple of weeks serve as the validation needed to come back and do it all over again next year!