Will You Sign My Yearbook?

Meditations in Motion

As regular readers of my blog know, I was a school teacher for over 30 years. I taught high school chemistry. (Yes, everyone’s favorite subject!) The students I had in class were mostly juniors and sophomores.

By the time the end of the year rolled around, we knew each other pretty well, my students and I. Our relationship had developed over nine months of laughter, tears, frustration, elation, and triumph. And I’m sure the students had some feelings about those nine months too!

Meditations in Motion

We spent many long hours after school working on science fair projects and lab reports. We came in early, sometimes when it was still dark outside, to practice for competitions. We even showed up during our Christmas break to work on projects that had a looming deadline. The one fact that I stressed to my students was that we were in this learning process together, and we were going to get it done!

There is no wonder then, that I was asked to sign many students’ yearbooks at the end of each school year. I didn’t want to sign the generic “I enjoyed having you in class.” I wanted something inspirational, uplifting, powerful. I sought out quotes.

I tried out a few, but they always came across as preachy, something a teacher would say. I wanted something unique and special like each student was to me. A quote which was originally (erroneously) attributed to Nelson Mandela, later correctly identified as Marianne Williamson, seemed perfect, exactly what I wanted to tell each child.

My entries in students’ yearbooks usually consisted of a portion of the following quote and one unique, personal observation about the student; something that I liked or admired about that boy or girl. My deepest hope is that those students are now allowing their own light to shine brightly in a world that can sometimes be dark.

Meditations in Motion

I am linking with My Little Tablespoon and Laughing My Abs Off for their Fab Finds Friday, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, and blovedboston for Weekending.

 

 

 

 

18 comments

  1. I would bet the rent that there are many of your (lucky) past students who cherish your contribution to their yearbook. I do love that Williamson passage, although it certainly is challenging. It is indeed tempting to play small in life, at least sometimes.
    I would bet the rent again that you are one of those teachers who stand out in memory for many of your students as one who inspired them and pulled their best from them — even if (and maybe even especially if) chemistry wasn’t their thing. As a theater kid in high school, I didn’t see myself as being all that into science, but one of my best and most influential teachers was my junior year biology teacher.
    And I still think biology is cool 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You were the COOLEST teacher, I know you were. I loved high school Chemistry. Although my teacher was pretty damn intimidating on the outside, she really warmed up to her students and we got to secretly learn she was actually a marshmallow. I will always, always remember some very certain things some of my teachers told me during those years. They have a lot of power to motivate and help someone, especially in those scary years of transition. Your students must miss you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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