Tuesday, May 22, 2012

soLs: bittersweet


Slice of Life Stories hosted

What does one need to know in order to throw a great celebratory party?

Delicious food.  Check.
Fine wine.  Check.
Great people. Check, check, check.
A standing ovation.  Check.
A little rockin' music.  Check!

Last Friday night, three teachers from my school celebrated their journey of teaching.  Planning such a night can be bittersweet.  It's a celebration of their dedication, hard work, blood, sweat and tears for a combined total of 102 years!  Yet, uncertainty as this BIG chapter concludes . . . all the while knowing many new chapters are waiting to begin.

It was such a special evening to honor these three women through words and songs.  Story after story after story that was shared, confirmed their dedication to teaching and compassion for kids.  As Auggie (the main character in Wonder - by the way, a MUST read!) states:

"Everyone deserves a standing ovation at least once in their lives."   

And I completely agree -- these three women deserved the cheers of acknowledgement.  Teaching is more than just a job.  When it comes right down to it, it's about making connections with kids.  It's about always believing, providing a pat on the back, a word of encouragement.  It's about being there, gently pushing kids forward, knowing when to slow down.  It's about providing opportunities to learn, to show, to practice, to do independently.

I can only imagine the roller coaster of emotions all three almost-retirerees are feeling - excitement, of course!  There will be so many things they will miss, like the kids, colleagues, learning, and laughing.  Yes, there will also be plenty that they will not miss, and that list is a lot longer!! 

A night none of the three will forget for a long, long time.  It was an evening filled with a delicious dinner and dessert, fine wine and drinks, great people from family to colleagues to longtime friends, special words of praise, standing ovations, and great music and dancing capped off the evening!

What a journey it has been and I'm glad I was able to enjoy the ride with you for a couple of those 102 years!

Cheers to you three!


17 comments:

  1. Kudos to those three from your school who are retiring! Great post and dedication to them. I am sure that over those combined 102 years they have helped many children and colleagues and, even though retired, will continue to teach. Love ya M

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  2. What a fabulous way to honor and acknowledge them. And, sounds like a fun night!

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  3. Wow, it sounds like it was quite a special night! That's amazing that they taught for 102 years altogether. BTW, I'm going to order the book Wonder now. :)
    --jee young

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  4. That quote from Auggie is one of my favorites. Glad they had a wonderful party to celebrate 102 years.

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  5. It's so sad when mentors and friends retire. Our school had about 2 a year for 3 or 4 years straight. You are right so bittersweet.
    Tammy

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  6. I join the crowd cheering to these teachers.

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  7. What a great story to tell, I felt like I was there. By the sounds of it, I wish I had been! Fun and excitement had by all I am sure. Memories are great to share.

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  8. I know you will miss them, & wish them the best in their life's journey, Michelle. What a lovely tribute you've written here for them.

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  9. Wow, 102 combined years for 3 people! Amazing! Each must truly love teaching and I'm sure they have impacted so many kids in such special ways. I love your paragraph about how "teaching is more than just a job." You have captured so many of the things that make teaching a part of who we are. I hope you share this post with your colleagues!

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  10. I speak from the point of view as one of the retirees. It is so bittersweet to have a celebration of one's career and they will miss you too. However, following a time frame and duty after duty will not be missed. I love that your school community is a family. It's always fun to go back and visit the "relatives."

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  11. There will be no more lunch duties or papers to correct; however, there will be memories and the knowledge that their work - made a difference in the future. I am sure it has.

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  12. Hooray for these teachers - and hooray for all those who gathered to celebrate and pay tribute!

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  13. It is so difficult to imagine ever being on the other end of one of these celebrations. You captured the feeling of retirement celebrations beautifully--bittersweet couldn't be a more perfect title!

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  14. So much more then a job...isn't that the truth

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  15. How wonderful for your friends to have you help them celebrate! I've got a friend retiring this year and I am going to feel so honored to toast her!

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  16. What a great quote! Wonder is in my TBR pile, and I am hoping to read it this summer. It sounds like it was a really nice celebration. 102 years - wow!

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  17. 102 years between them. Wow! That's incredible. Good for them!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.