Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Monumental Rewards for this Seasoned Teacher on Graduation Day

Some days blogging is so easy because I am sharing about things the students have accomplished, or I am posting about a new program I have discovered for the class to use. I just love picking something to share that I think will benefit my readers.

Today I want to share an experience that is on my heart, and I find this kind of sharing a bit more challenging, because I am the type of person who has always kept my feelings close.
I am a seasoned teacher of thirty plus years who went back to school for my Administrative Credential and Master's Degree. When I began this journey, I knew I wanted to go through the graduation process, but did not plan on the blessings that came my way on Graduation Day.

I expected the graduation to be low key with only my husband in attendance. I mean, really.... who wants to sit through a long graduation ceremony right before Christmas?
Instead, I ended up with twenty-five family members from both sides of my family.  After the graduation ceremony, we had a late dinner together.  I had almost all of my favorite people in one room at the same time, and I was there to enjoy it.  Thank you family.  I feel very blessed.  I love you all very much, and my heart is very full.
The second blessing happened right before the hooding ceremony. A beautiful young lady, with a smile I will never forget, walked up and said, "Do you remember me?" I had had Marina in my third grade class almost twenty years ago. She was my "Teacher of the Day."

Back then, third grade was the highest grade in our primary school. To help teach about our election process, each third grade teacher would divide her class into two groups. They would take on an animal for their party's name and then nominate students to run for "Teacher of the Day."  We had a debate,  primary election, and then the winners from the primary election would run in the general election. The winner would then teach for a day in January.  The "Teacher of the Day" would make lesson plans for reading, math, spelling, science, PE, and art. They would gather the supplies needed, and be inaugurated the day before they became the teacher.   On that special day, the "Teacher of the Day," Marina, was called Miss Garcia by the classroom teacher, who sat back and took pictures; as well as all the students. Miss Garcia took roll, taught all of the lessons, did recess duty, dealt with any discipline problems that might have arisen, answered the phone, and ate lunch with the other "Teachers of the Day" in the teachers' lunch room. It was a huge responsibility and honor for one classroom student each year.

On Graduation Day, when I reminisced about  "Teacher of the Day," Marina stated that she knew back when she was the Teacher of the Day that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. It touched my heart to hear that one classroom project had such a lasting and life changing effect on her. As elementary school teachers we don't always get to find out what happens to our students as they move on. We don't usually get to know what effect certain lessons or extras we do in the classroom have on the students with whom we teach, so this news was extra special to me. I was then privileged to sit next to my former student as we both received our masters degrees. It made for an extra special graduation ceremony. I consider this a monumental reward for teaching the last thirty-three years!


  1. Lovely Kelly. Congratulations ~~ for the thousands of things you have done that have touched lives that you may never hear about. Jewels in heaven!

  2. Awesome story, Kelly! Thank you for sharing. You are an amazing teacher & I am so fortunate to have been able to spend some of my student teaching in your presence. You have so much to offer your students.

    1. Thank you so much for these kind words. I love working with my students!