Every time the semester ends, I feel a little sad. Yes, I'm happy to take a break from school work. Yes, I'm happy to have a break from writing comments on papers for hours. And yes, I'm overjoyed to avoid my 1 - 1 1/2 hour commute each morning and afternoon. But it's hard to watch students go when you grow to like them as people and know how much more you could accomplish with more time.
This year was particularly emotional for me, as I taught at my alma mater. I watched students follow the same paths that I did. It wasn't hard for me to put myself in their shoes. I sat in some of the same classrooms that they sat in. I had some of the same professors that they had. I told stories with my friends in the same cafeteria. I did the same things outside of class in the same residence halls. And I remembered my FYW course, which I did not like very much. I did not want my students to have that experience.
I think, as a whole, I stuck to my values. I embraced the idea that learning should be challenging but fun, and I worked hard to show students how writing can have an impact on their daily lives. I still have some work to do, some things to improve, some new ideas to implement but looking back, I'm proud of what I did this year. I'm even more proud of what my students did this year.