This was a speech delivered by Holly Miller, BEd’17, at the School of Education Graduate’s Dinner.

Take a moment and pause.

Teaching is an exhausting, energy-draining, yet extremely rewarding profession, so it’s important to take a moment to celebrate our hard work.

 As we come to the end of our degree, we reflect on one of the biggest endeavors of our lives. We count down the days, hours, and minutes in one of the busiest years we’ve ever experienced. We’ve worked countless hours and late nights for a great purpose—to educate young minds.

I’m certain we can think back to some of the challenges we’ve overcome in the past year. Moments in our practicums and days we thought we would give up, but then there’s a memory of that one student that puts a smile on our face. That one student that smiles, or improves their reading skills, or is excited about what we’re teaching. That one student makes it all worthwhile.

Now that we’ve completed our second practicum and our days in the program are numbered, we have to recall those first day butterflies and our successes along the way. We need to cherish what we’ve learned from our professors, from our students, and from each other.

We did this together.

We wouldn’t have been able to work on countless reflections, projects, or assignments if we didn’t work as a team. As I look around the room, I see the faces of those who started as strangers, but have grown to be lifelong friends.
We’re down to our final days—for now—sitting in the classroom. As we reflect on our year, it’s important to remember that we may forget the topics taught or the essays wrote, but we’ll always remember the experiences and the memories made.

We’ve all changed and shaped our teaching in many ways, and now we are the minds that are shaping the future generation.