I’m teaching high school again, this time at Superior Heights C & VS in Sault Ste. Marie. Our graduation was last week, and it was the first I’ve attended since my previous school, Alexander Henry, in 2008.
I wasn’t really involved with the planning of grad (several other teachers worked like crazy to make it happen – major kudos to them). That’s probably just as well, since the veterans have a good system and don’t need me mucking around with it.
The ceremony was lovely, the keynote was good (the Sault mayor), and the logistics were smooth. I was one of the people handing out programs at the door, and I held that same door for the graduates as they entered the gym. I also gave out high fives to all of them, which was super fun.
A colleague asked me on grad day if I could hand out a couple of awards on stage, and I was happy to help. It was only afterward that I realized what an honour it was. I understand that in the past the awards have been handed out by other stakeholders, such as trustees or superintendents, and I think having a familiar face on stage helped to reduce the kids’ nervousness. I was so proud of them as they came up to shake my hand, accept their award, smile for their parents’ photography, and accidentally hug me in confusion (you know who you are).
But for me the highlight of the afternoon was mingling with the grads and their families after the ceremony. Our Bistro teacher (restaurant services) organized a fantastic spread for everyone to enjoy while we talked, shook hands, snapped photos, and generally had a good time. I grabbed as many selfies as I could with the kids I taught or spent a lot of time with.
I met one young lady’s parents and older sister, which was a real treat. I worked with her Semester 1 in my MDM4U class, and then in the spring for a few weeks to prepare for the Euclid Math Contest (she did very well). She has a brilliant mind and is a wonderful person. She’s the one who made me cry after the ceremony. I’ll miss her a lot.
It’s tough to watch these kids, now adults, venturing out into the world. They finish grad, mingle, then move on with their lives. I was so proud to watch them, but they’ve left an emptiness behind them. I felt a little down for a couple of days afterward. I know I’ll see many of them again, whether next year or sometime later. It’s still painful to let them go.
I love you all, and I’ll miss you. Be safe, be happy, and come back to visit sometimes, okay?