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,
for 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?