A Teacher's Super Bowl: Graduation From a Teacher's Perspective

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I have never been an athlete but I can only imagine that winning the top competition in your sport feels incredible. The best thing I can compare it to for me is Graduation Day. Having taught seniors in high school for ten years now, there is just no way to express the feelings I get on Graduation Day. I leave graduation with a feeling that is hard to even put into words. I teach the entire senior class every year so every student that walks across that stage has been in my classroom as a student of mine. Some of them worked really hard and did well in class whereas others struggled or didn’t always do their best but have finally made it to this point. When I leave on graduation night, I feel like I have just won the Super Bowl! It is a feeling that I truly cherish and it reminds me why I do what I do every year.  

My school has this AMAZING tradition that I absolutely love called the, “Teacher Tunnel.” Before the students go across the stage, the teachers, counselors, former teachers, etc., line up at the side of the stage to greet the graduates on their way to receive their diploma. We are not a small high school so the teacher line is very long. However, this “teacher tunnel” is an opportunity to congratulate, hug, dry tears, fix caps, etc. You cannot even begin to count the thank you’s, love you’s, etc. that take place during this time. It has to be one of my all-time favorite traditions. Teachers that have changed schools or retired often return for this special event. It has become something that both the teachers and the students truly treasure.

Sadly, due to my health this year, I wasn’t able to stay for the “teacher tunnel.” This made me very sad because it is something that really touches me like no other tradition we have. I was able to see my students before the ceremony but due to illness, I felt it necessary to leave before the ceremony started. I hate that I wasn’t able to be there but luckily I did get to take pictures, hug, & congratulate my students before they got their diploma.

Now, the fun really begins! They all get to add me on social media. I have always made it a rule (even before my school district) that I will not add students as friends on my social media accounts until after they graduated. Therefore, the last few days I have spent accepting TONS of new friend requests. I love that I can now keep up with my students & what they are doing in their lives through social media. I actually just returned from having lunch with a 2015 graduate that was home for the summer. There is such an awesome feeling seeing these kids grow up and being able to continue a relationship with them as a friend/mentor.

Although graduation holds quite a lot of emotions for me, including sadness as I lose each group of students, I feel such excitement for these young people as they enter such an exhilarating time in their lives. For now, I am enjoying my “Super Bowl” high!  

Does your school have any end of year or graduation traditions that you just love? I would love to hear about them. Feel free to comment below! 

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