Reub's journey

19 June 2012

The day before the last day

Today was a mighty mish-mosh of mini-memories. How's that for a sentence? It was the day before The Last Day of Working. In all of these years of teaching I never thought once about this day.

It began with a wonderment of daisies and the realization that I'd better appreciate them now, because in 3 weeks, when we get back from Japan, the daisies will be gone. We will be in a slightly different season.

The day moved on to a funny game of catch in the morning mist.

I went to school, and it finally came home to me: it's almost over. A teary student delivered a 2 page letter that made everything, everything ever in my whole career, worthwhile. And this child didn't even know I was retiring.  If only everybody, no matter what they do for a living, could get such a letter.

The low pay, the long hours, the relentless potshots from politicians towards teachers, the criticism from the right, from the left, the grinding and endless meetings...I am impervious to all of it because of letters like this.  Say any crazy angry thing you want, this teacher can't even hear you.

That's because your anger cannot equal my joy.

Eat my dust, Kobe Bryant.

Will I miss my colleagues? Oh yes. These are three of the best, performing for a room full of 530 13-year-olds. Mony mony.

I will miss my students even more.

However, it is time to go; I am completely sure of it.

I am not sorry about any of it. Like the daisies I will pass into a slightly different season. It's all good.


  1. Thanks for sharing your feelings. This D-Day day happens to all of us.You will get over it soon and get on with life.Maybe this is the best time to do the things that you always wanted to do but could never find the time.
    Have a sensational trip to Japan !
    Best Wishes Ram

  2. RR: Thanks! I am already looking forward to the next phase. But I may never get over the haters and blamers who constantly attack the teaching profession.

  3. ah, kerry. i'm so happy for you, and so grateful that that one student put into words what i know so many of them over the years have thought! you deserve hundreds of letters just like it. sending you love!!!!!!!

  4. sigh. i know dan loves you too, but that was me, debbie. xo

  5. oh, sweet kerry. the bits of that letter brought tears to my eyes - overwhelming gratitude for all the difference you've made for your students all these years. and your 3 colleagues in the video? i want to give each one of them a huge hug for making my day. they were too darn cute.

    God bless you, dear one. And thank you for making a difference.

  6. well, I've thoroughly enjoyed all the posts about your students but I'm sure I will thoroughly enjoy whatever you replace them with.

  7. I'm so glad your student's letter touched you so deeply. When my kids were in school, I encouraged them to express their feelings in a note or a card to their teachers at the end of the school year. If they were lucky, they had teachers like you. Your post made me a little teary... in a bittersweet sort of way.

  8. This was a beautiful post that touched my heart in a special way. What a great "note" to retire on, literally and metaphorically. :) I hope you enjoy the next chapter of your new life. The last photo of the daisies are exquisite!

  9. awww Debbie, thank you so much. Love back at ya.

    twg: Thank you! Aren't those three the cutest ever? You can see why the kids love them.

    Ellen: I'm gonna miss my school stories too, believe me.

    Hilary: It's always wonderful to get a note of appreciation, isn't it? This one was straight from the heart, and written on a piece of notebook paper at school, which I love about it.

    Gail: Thank you! The daisies are magnificent right now. I have taken so many pics of them!

  10. I hope your next stage will be as gratifying.

  11. This is so powerful! Mazel tov and hell yeah Kobe Bryant can eat your dust.

    Hell yeah.

  12. i came back to say congrats on your POTW!

  13. Lovely thoughts, I had a hard time also.I have one student who writes me every year and I had him 30 years ago.Sometime we make that difference in someones life.

  14. Not sure how I missed this post but glad Hillary brought me back with a POTW award. This actually brought tears to my eyes because years ago when I used to teach I always felt a let down knowing I would not see some of the students again.

  15. Super post. No wonder you were chosen for POTW. I congratulate you on your retirement, your obvious endearment to your students and vice versa. Enjoy, Oma Linda

  16. What a wonderful post! I know just how you feel :)

  17. Laoch: Almost everything is gratifying for me. I am a little person.

    Reya: On the last day of work, you know, I did feel powerful. Isn't that the best way to go out. And I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that little boy's message to me.. Kobe Bryant #2...

    OotP: If somebody still writes after 30 years you are a goddess. That is so fantastic. I love that.

    Tabor: They disappear, year after year. But you have left your mark and you know it.

    Linda: Thank you! For a few of them I know I mattered. And that's all that matters.

    Pauline: I know you do. You and I are on the same trajectory.

  18. OotP: Perhaps not a goddess, perhaps a god instead? Sorry! But you know, goddesses are great too.

  19. oh my goodness you made me cry! It is hard to embrace this season of our lives, bitter sweet, welcoming, and very scary! I will work 5 more years, and hopefully retire and be able to make ends meet. Scary.... you are so blessed to have had the experience to work with those children and I am will always be remembered as their favorite! I would like to say THANK YOU for your personal sacrifice and HARD work. There are a lot of "you" out there that don't get the thanks you deserve. :)


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