the first graduates

This year, I get to “see” my first group of students graduate from college… on Facebook. And while I’m not going to any celebrations in person, but I’m definitely “like-ing” the heck out of all of their status updates, sending cards, and congratulating them at every corner.

[two upcoming college graduates from CSUN & UCLA … back in 2003]

The three years I spent in the classroom were, without a doubt, foundational to who I am today. My current career, my political and policy perspectives, my patience and skills as a mom and and heck, even who I married. I can imagine all of the different paths I could have taken, and I’m so happy I went down the road I did just days after graduating from college in 2002.

Today, seeing these students accomplish something as huge as graduating from a major university in four years… it’s like I’m back in the classroom again and I get to celebrate with them one more time. And it reminds me how much I miss it, even though I know why I moved on. It’s the little things… the weekly brownie sales with their incentive currency, grading their “Hotel on another planet” reports, or just the collective high five when everyone got through the quadratic equation and on to graduation. So much hope and potential in their hearts and minds… and now they’ve cashed in on some of that just 8 years later… with so much more to come their way!

I could try and claim a bit of credit for where they are, but I know that it would be just that – a tiny little bit. But maybe, just maybe, all of that cheerleading I did for my students got them to realize that this was the path that only they could knock themselves off of… no one else. They had literally won the lottery to go to our PK-12 charter school system, and I’m so happy to see they cashed in!

So excuse me while I’m a little giddy and pretend like I’m 23-25 years old again for a bit… but I’m having a proud teacher moment through the end of June :)



  • Michelle

    As someone who works with youth, I like to think that the contact I had with them did make a difference, even if it was in a small way! That is awesome to know that they are doing well and will be out in the big bad world with the rest of us!

  • tamara

    awww that is so awesome!! i worked with disadvantaged kids at a juvenile defender clinic this year and it was really sad to see how little the educational system cares about them–good to know they had someone like you to urge them toward such a great path!