I have now been teaching long enough that the students I taught in my first years of teaching are now well into their young adult years. I truly enjoy interacting with them as adults and learning about their lives today. Two weeks ago I had a young man who was in my first class at Sonrise proudly introduce me to his new bride. Last week I sat down in church to have a very proud mom show me the ultrasound pictures of her future granddaughter. This future mom is a past student who had also returned to our school as a volunteer. These interactions act as a confirmation to me that our school truly is more than a community, we are a family.
Over the past 6 months it seems that I have seen our Sonrise graduates everywhere. I am so proud of their accomplishments. During the spring and summer I was able to regularly read of the track and field accomplishments of a student from the graduating class of 2011. It was an honour in June to watch four young ladies graduate from Quinte Christian as Ontario Scholars. From that same graduating class I read of the award winning accomplishments of our grads who chose to attend PECI. My list goes on. We now have one of our graduates on staff teaching our grade one and two class. She is passionately diving into her new profession. Tomorrow, we have another grad coming in to share as a chapel speaker. She was in Elliot Lake this past summer during the tragedy of the mall collapse and was able to minister to young people in that community. As I occasionally attend other churches I have seen past students now taking on leadership roles in their local church. I see grads in the work force and I am so proud to see their work ethic and polite treatment of customers.
I am now convinced that the feeling of being a proud teacher must come a close second to the feelings of being a proud parent.