For our last day of class, I ask students to bring in a paragraph to read aloud the writing they feel most proud of from our whole semester together. It’s fun to hear their choices and why.
I’m learning the power of ending things well. When something ends (a semester, a project, an event, a trip, or anything that has a clear ending), providing a question for a sense of meaningful closure offers some joy and reflection.
Over the years, I learn what makes a student proud: she overcame burnout or a lack of motivation; she took a courageous risk; she grew emotionally; she adopted a new point of view; she learned and applied something somewhere else; she stayed organized. I’m excited to hear what students will say tomorrow.
As my own semester ends, I’m most proud of staying peaceful during department controversy, of gaining confidence to teach my graduate / faculty seminar, and of writing my book on having better conversations. I’m proud of growing as a good friend, a better mom, and good companion to my husband as we enter a new season of life with grown children.