Graduation: The Teacher’s View

Graduation events begin today. Parents flying in from out-of-town.  Family gatherings.  Proud moments for children, parents, grandparents.  This is a big day.

The students, young adults, walk across the stage and receive their graduate degrees. Three or four years of hard work brought them here.  They feel a sense of accomplishment, completion, pride.  They should.

As a teacher, I am proud too. I see the growth in these students over the course of their time here.  From struggles and new beginnings — to confidence and moving on to another new beginning. They embark now on new careers.

The teacher is left behind. Students move on.  I find I am reflective, melancholic, about sending these students off.  Pleased for them.  Sad for me.

They have enriched my life. They helped bring out the best in me.  They helped me become a better teacher.

And so, I pray from the Psalms for each of these students.

Show them where to walk,
Let them give themselves to you.

Rescue them from their enemies, LORD;
Let them run to you to hide them.

Teach them to do your will,
for you are God.
May your gracious Spirit lead
them forward
on a firm footing.

For the glory of your name, O LORD, preserve their lives.
Because of your faithfulness,
always bring them out of distress.

In your unfailing love, silence all their enemies
and destroy all
their foes,
they am your servants.

Psalm 143 (modified)

Do you have a teacher who you left behind as you moved on? What about that teacher enriched your life? Do you ever wonder whether you enriched that teacher’s life?


Posted on May 28, 2010, in Christianity, God, Hope, love, parenting, Teaching and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. To look on to your students as a teacher–pretty awesome! A great privilege.

    All the best to you,

  2. A few years ago I tracked down my high school Spanish teacher who was a lifesaver to me in school. I am not sure how much Spanish I learned but she got me through some rough times. She is long retired now, of course, but I wrote her a letter saying thanks. She wrote back the loveliest letter about how much my letter meant to her. I am pretty sure she didn’t remember me, but I could tell that she was so pleased that I remembered her. It’s never too late to say thank you.

  3. Elizabeth,

    So often we forget to look back at the teacher who affected and influenced our lives so much when we move on. I am glad…to read this because it tells me that teaching for you…is a calling. I knowing that God has placed the lives of the young people in your hands for a purpose. I love your prayer towards them as they leave from Psalm 143. So real and true.

    Thank you.


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