There is one day in a schoolyear that I don't really like! Graduation! That is the day that when once the rather formal part is over this girl ends up in the kitchen. From the first day that I arrived in this school I not experienced this day as a happy one. I can deal with the emotional part and some of the pupils I can actually live without. After 5 or more years in our challenging environment I consider them ready for take-off!
You might wonder why I then don't highlighten this day in my diary. Well, it is rather personal and also something that I feel a bit ashamed about. I feel left out! Really I do. In the eleven years that I am teaching I don't really feel in place at graduation. Happy graduates who can't wait to move on with their lives, proud parents who are producing snapshots of their son or daughter and some relieved teachers are the ingredients of this cocktail.
During the evening I start to sense a hole in my stomach! While the empty glasses keep pouring in and try to confiscate one glass of cava I start to feel down. The whole evening anxious pupils pass by looking for their vocational teachers to thank or give firm hugs! I end up being ignored! Relieved to state that I am not the only one but still.
Teaching is for sure a very rewarding job but in a vocational school the teachers that have the honor to teach the skills feel of course more appreciated then the religion teacher or art teacher. Don't get me wrong it is not that I don't feel good about what I manage to do. At the graduation it just is so obvious that pupils have a better, closer and more emotional relationship with their vocational teachers. And once a year you just see it in front of your eyes and that stings a bit!
P asks me every year if I am then jealous. Okay, it is not that I mind that I am not the one who ends up with thank you notes or small gifts. Nope, it is more complicated and it is the fact when they encounter me with plates of mini sandwiches they only pay attention to the food. And it seems then that the last five to six years I was never there with them. They already have moved on and that is painful.
I love teaching. But I would lie if I wouldn't admit that being a general subject teacher in special vocational school is the most rewarding job there is. Not that my collegues and principal not praise me but it are my clients who seem to take me rather for granted. The last few years it is also the night when I get home I will decide what my next plan is in my careerplanning! Seems that last night I already was able to make up my mind rather fast! Guess that I am ready for the annual summer pause and that one is for sure highlightned in my dairy!