We’re finishing up the semester with challenging tasks, wrapping up long term projects, and getting those all-important marks back to kids so that they can start applying to universities, colleges and other post-secondary destinations. We’ve got workshops to learn study habits, how to tackle the diploma exams, how to live on a budget when you’re off at school and out of the house for the first time, and how to write an effective valedictory speech. It’s only December but the kids are preparing to leave us behind. We’re figuring out ways to make that happen for them and with them. Sure we have another semester to go but in no time it’ll be time to plan for graduation (ya gotta rent that limo and buy a beautiful dress you know!). Kids will be receiving their acceptance letters to schools all over the world, or making travel plans for the summer or their hotly anticipated gap year.
We prepare to say goodbye to cherished colleagues as they move on to different challenges. We prepare to say goodbye to the students, for whom we have made meticulous lesson plans, organised fun class time activities, whose feet we’ve held to the fire, and who we have comforted, consoled and encouraged over the last three years. Here at Robert Thirsk High School, and at schools all over this city, province and country, we care about kids. We want them to move on to bigger and better challenges. We’ve offered them plenty of opportunity to succeed, challenge themselves, and yes- get plenty of help and encouragement from the adults in the building that deeply care about them. Yes, we do offer the chance to reassess, challenge outcomes, and develop competencies. In short- we offer them the chance to help themselves to become the successes that we know they can be.
It’s tough to think about saying goodbye, even when it’s seven months away, but that’s the job. That’s the hardest part of this whole endeavour- but that’s the job. So, for now we put a pin in it. We finish those diplomas, we mark the assignments and help kids plan for life after high school, and we both anticipate and dread the day when our kids leave us. ‘Cause that’s who they are, OUR KIDS.
Lori Gale (@lmagale) is an LL at Robert Thirsk HS, a judgmental music fan, sometime painter, full-time sarcasm dispenser- & BEYOND proud to be Thirsky!