It’s true. While they do sometimes (often?) drive me crazy, the move and inspire me.
Last year I started the tradition of making leather keychains as a gift to my Seniors. I also write them a personalized card.
The quote on the keychain is by Brené Brown:
What we know matters.
Who we are matters more.
I think it’s the perfect message for those entering their adult lives… Especially for those smarty pants students who might be more worried about grades than other things. (just sayin’)
This is the last full week Seniors have to come to school. Next week is their exam week, and their send off. With that, Seniors become wily beasts to track down. I decided to give my gift to the ones I saw today.
I was surprised by the intensity of their responses. They were deeply moved. I received very sincere thank-yous in response. A couple of students wanted hugs. One was on the brink of tears and made sure to post a picture of the card and keychains to Instagram.
When I was writing the cards last night, I was moved to tears. I’ve had some of these students in class before, so there’s history. I’ve seen them grow from Freshmen into upperclassmen. Some I’ve just gotten to know over the course of the school year. Regardless, I’m proud of their accomplishment of graduating from high school, and I’m so hopeful for them as they enter the next big phase of their lives.
The message I wrote time and again in the students’ cards was:
Do what makes you happy in life and be great!
I hope they will pay attention and strive for the first part and realize that if they are doing that they are already great!
I don’t go to graduation. I hope my students won’t begrudge me missing. I’m rooting them on nonetheless. I’m saying my goodbyes to them this week. I’m glad my little gift is well received.
I was thinking back to my own high school graduation. If my teachers were there I don’t remember. But for a long, long time I kept a book my high school calculus teacher gave our A.P. class as a gift. I thought I still had it, even now. I couldn’t find it in a pretty thorough search. It must have been left behind in one of the moves.
Thinking back upon it now, I remember how much some of those teachers meant to me. I don’t remember a whole lot of calculus anymore. I’ve retained more than the average bear. What I really remember is her kindness. Her supporting me when I was hard on myself. Her encouraging me on the different teams she coached.
I’m not the most maternal person out there, but I hope I have even a fraction of an effect on some of my students’ lives.
(And a shameless plug in here. If you like the keychains, I have an Etsy site. Check it out!)