Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 23 2011

“Your journey has molded you for your greater good…”

Last week one of my students finished his LAST credit (in Algebra 2) and became a high school graduate. Another one of my students finished up his last credit tonight and is now a high school graduate. I am so PROUD of each of them. They have both overcome so much in their life and have worked relentlessly to reach their goal: graduate high school. I would use their initials when I talk about them but they have the same first name… random. One of them is joining the army, the other is applying to 4 year universities– he is going on a campus tour tomorrow with our college transition adviser.

In my high school yearbook, the parents of seniors could buy ad space to write their graduate a message. My mom had the following poem put in it for me:

After a while you learn the difference,
Subtle difference,
Between holding a hand and
Chaining a soul.

You learn that love
Doesn’t mean leaning and
Company doesn’t mean security.

You begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts and
Presents aren’t promises.

You begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of an adult,
Not the grief of a child.

You learn to build
All your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground
Is too uncertain for plans.

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns
If you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and
Decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.

You learn
That you really can endure.
That you really are strong.
You really do have worth.

I wish the same things for my new graduates. I hope they are leaving our school knowing that life is what you make of it, that you never ever ever give up, and that if you work hard you get smart. :-)

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    A first year math teacher in Indianapolis

    Middle School

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