Somehow, I thought it would be easy or uncomplicated to say goodbye to my teaching career. These past fifteen years consist of school buildings full of kids, teachers, administrators and ancillary staff. Most of the time, I spend a day or two at each venue, returning for another day or two sometime later.

But I should have known much better. This has been the most gratifying and educational segment of my career. It’s punctuated by children who say they’ve missed me, children who deliver presents and love letters, children who grabbed my heart and gently squeezed it.

It’s years of joy, tears, dedicated and passionate teachers and boundless appreciation for my contributions. It’s sand in my shoes, ink on my fingers and the messages conveyed in hugs.

When I reflect on all that I’ve been given, I fervently hope that I’ve given back half as much. If I’m very blessed, two or ten or one hundred of my kids along this path will grow up knowing that one teacher in one class on one day wholly and sincerely believed in them.

Down the road, I will identify a new medium for giving my time and attention to the world. But teaching has fully exhausted my body and soul and it’s time to move forward.

Thank you to all those who have enriched and illustrated my teaching life. The world of education is richer for your gifts and I am forever grateful that you shared that world with me. Shalom.

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