I got no speech.
My end of the year speech is pretty much "Have a great summer and take care." Woefully uninspired, I know that to the bottom of my heart.
You know who was the king of year end speeches? My dad. When my school ended before his, he would let me come to the last day of his school. He was an elementary school teacher for a city, and it was always a great treat to go with him and hang out with the big kids.
Is it my imagination or did kids seem bigger and more mature in the seventies?
His speech would have those kids rapt and shiny-eyed. I'm surprised none of them stood up and sang "To Sir, with Love."
I wish I had copied at least one of his speeches down. I would steal the crap out of that mother.
He'd say how great it was to be a part of their lives and that if they ever needed him, they could call on him. But my paraphrase doesn't do it justice.
I sometimes think about what I'd like to say: It's been an honor and a privilege teaching you. You've challenged me. You've made me weep and made me laugh, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity and dumb luck to have spent a year with you.
I can't. I stand up to deliver and choke and cover by saying, "Take your feet off the desk and don't line up at the door."
If only they knew. If only I could overcome this shyness or nervousness...but am I not falling into a trap here? I'm succumbing to that teacher flaw that one word at the right time can make the difference in a person's life. Are my students missing out by not hearing an up-and-at-em speech at the end of the year? I don't know. I honestly don't know.