Today I sat on two presentation panels for students to complete their requirements for graduation. One was good - persistent, effortful, and detailed in his work. The other was outstanding - methodical, detail-oriented, making connections with outside-of-school items in a way that impressed me immensely. These two students demonstrate how you can put in a lot of effort as a teacher and see the wonderful outcomes over the years. While I have never had either of these students in my own classes, I am privileged to be a small part of their lives today.
After these presentations I sat in my classroom with a coworker just chatting with two other students about their end-of-school experience, graduation, classes, ice cream, travel, and more. It was an honest 40 minutes talking with kids who are becoming young adults and moving on in their lives to college next year. I really appreciated the time they spent with me, indulging my puns and being earnest and honest in their responses to questions about their future. I wish them both well.
I'm hoping next school year I'll have a project of a similar ilk as the photo-a-day idea but perhaps involved less intense effort so I can complete it everyday.