For some reason, I have the Boyz II Men’s song “End of the Road” stuck in my head.  It’s not on my ipod and I haven’t actually heard the song in a long time but I keep playing it in my head.  Maybe it is because I just finished teaching my last GCC class for the semester.  Or maybe it is because graduation is tomorrow.  “End of the Road” played at my high school graduation.  That has to be it.

Tomorrow I have to say goodbye to alot of my “babies.”  They were my first group of sophomores when I started teaching.  We have spent three years together and now they are leaving me for their future.  I am officially in their past.

There are times when I wonder why I am working such a stressful job but today, with a group of students lined up outside of my classroom wanting to give me a hug goodbye, I knew.  These kids were there to thank me.  To tell me how much they were going to miss me.  To tell me what a difference I made in their lives.  If only they knew what a difference they made in mine.

To some, I was their second mother.  They would come to me every day for advice.  To others, they saw me as the only one who understood them.  Many of them I helped get a job–fixing countless resumes, cover letters and portfolios.

They were there with me through all the difficult times–and all the times I evacuated the school.  They tested me and I passed.  It has been a rough three years as a new teacher.  But I got up and went to work every day because of my kids.  I taught them about photography and life.  These are the kids who gave me the title “Miss B.”  They are the ones who referred to my class as the “real world” class.   I was there for them–to help them, to guide them–and now it is time to set them free.

To my babies, the Class of 2011, we have come to the end of the road.  It is time for you to set off on your own paths while I stay here, guiding the remaining Clarkies.  But I will always be here if you should ever need me.  I wish you all the best in whereever your life may take you.  Salute!