One of the most rewarding parts of teaching is when the student comes back to visit. Today, I was blessed to be visited by a student whom I adored. I had just finished eating my lunch alone at my desk (the isolating part) while grading. I was trying to finish the grading before I moved on to the next part of my planning. I heard a knock at my classroom door and was honestly annoyed by the interruption. I walked impatiently to my door and opened it to a former student with a huge smile on his face. It was such a wonderful surprise. I invited him in the classroom to sit down and catch up on life. He told me about his wonderful plans for the future. He was so proud to tell me about his goals. He also asked about me and I told him about my upcoming move to retreat director. He was so excited for me to have such an opportunity. Before he left I asked if he had kept his journal I wrote for him before he graduated (I wrote about how I truly saw him as a person). He said he came across it recently and reread it and it made him smile. His was a rich soil and those seeds are flourishing well!
Giving up teaching will be bitter sweet. I will not miss the grading, discipline and planning. I will miss the creativity, the rapport I have with my students, and learning from them. I pray that God used me as an instrument in my years of teaching to plant the seeds of faith and creativity in the lives of those I have taught, that is reward enough.