by Scott Boyle
I remember sitting in a high school class at Monticello High School, an uninterested seventh grader, counting on my fingers the number of years left to graduation and lamenting, as my fingers attested to six more years of high school, “I’m going to be in school forever!”
Little did I know way back then in 1966 that that seeming bewailment would prove to be wonderfully predictive.
Fifty remarkable years later, after six years of high school, four years of college and 38 incredible years of teaching, forever has arrived.
Becoming a teacher wasn’t my idea at first. It came from a friend in college, who asked me what my major was. In response to my “I have no idea” reply, she discerned, “You ought to be an elementary teacher.” That idea immediately entered my head and never left.
And she was right. Teaching has been a satisfying, difficult, enjoyable, and entertaining career, one where I seldom, if ever, dreaded going to work.
I never watched the clock, or counted the minutes. One has found job-nirvana if one can find out what they love doing, and then get someone to pay them to do it and have someone to do it for and with. Such was the case for me. This has been a great ride.
Without students to teach, never would there have been an experience of spending 15 minutes, all of recess, meticulously working with a student through a long division problem.
And when the answer, 15 remainder 2, was finally and painstakingly achieved, hearing the the student groan, “All that work for such a little answer?”
Or talking to a student who had just sat on the head of a fellow student on the playground, right on the asphalt. “What’s going on?” I queried.
“He called me a name,” came the inevitable reply.
“So you sat on his head, “ I countered.
“Yep,” he confidently acknowledged before adding, “He won’t do that again.”
I was forced to agree with his conclusion. These and a million more similar experiences helped to make teaching a memorable, worthwhile career.
Thanks for all the life lessons, Thank you for letting me into your lives, for allowing me the blessed opportunity to influence and even more so, to be influenced.
When you have taught long enough to tell a student, “Hey, I taught your grandfather!?”, or if your past two principals were also two of your former students, or )as happened this past week), when a parent who accompanied her child on our last field trip of the school year, also happened to be on that first field trip at MES that first year of employment, it must be time to go.
A big thanks to all the staff at MES and the San Juan School District. Monticello Elementary truly is an exciting, comfortable, happy, and successful place to work, full of cheerful, hardworking, diligent, talented and successful people.
All of the colleagues, past and present, have added to a fabulous experience. Honestly, no one works any harder for your children than these fine people. Kudos to you parents for trusting us with your children, your support, your suggestions, and your concerns.
And, the students, all 38 years of them. Thank you. Thank you for the many kind thoughts and memories you shared over the years and recently on Facebook.
You have molded me, helped me, lifted me up, teased, loved, and humored me as I have hoped to do for you. “It is the students that I adore.” Thank you.
A highlight for me was teaching all my children as they came through school and then, delightfully, one grandchild for six months.
Also, these past four years have included the opportunity to see two more grandkids on a daily basis in a school setting. It was fantastic to be called “Dad,” “Grandpa,” or “Uncle Scott” at school. A change from “Mr. Boyle.”
You get to know a different side of your children, grandchildren and relatives when you see them at school. And I’m happy to say that they always had a smile for me and I hope I was never too big of an embarrassment for them.
Finally, a ginormous thank you and hug for Cassie. Cassie, who loved and supported and helped and enabled, who mended and corrected and taught me to understand little people and little people ways of learning.
Cassie has had her own MES experiences, from working in the lunchroom to cleaning classrooms to listening to children read. She, too, knows of the wonderful lessons learned in the halls of good ole MES. Thank you, Cassie, and sorry for all the school stuff piled in our room at home.
It is all of you, students, parents, teachers, staff, supportive community, and family that make this education experience the noble thing it has always been in Monticello, what it is now, and what it will continue to be.
Thanks to all of you.