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An Unexpected Honor

July 5, 2013
With members of the class of 2013, to whom I will always be grateful.

With members of the class of 2013, to whom I will always be grateful.

This was the third remarkable event, which happened just before the end of the school year…

A few weeks ago Diane, an esteemed member of our English department, stopped by my classroom after school.

“Hey,” she wondered, “were you planning on going to the Senior Banquet on Thursday?”

I wasn’t. I usually don’t. It’s a nice event in which the seniors get their yearbooks and enjoy a fun meal together, but I spend a great deal of time at my school already, so it wasn’t an event I considered a priority.

Diane was silent for a moment, and then responded in what I could only describe as a deliberate, suggestive tone. “It would be a really good thing if you were there.”

Um…okay. Thanks for that cryptic answer. Perhaps it would have been better in a coded letter?

It took me a few moments to realize what she meant. Diane, being yearbook advisor, is expected to attend, and outside of the class advisors, there is only one other staff member who is invited. And for only one reason. That had to be me.

When I finally absorbed Diane’s true meaning, I smiled and told her, “I’ll be there.”

I arrived at the banquet, and enjoyed mingling with many of the students, the class advisors, and my building principal. When it came time to distribute the yearbooks, the editors—two dear young women named Chelsea and Rebecca—read from a plaque they had prepared. Here were the words:

“Throughout these past four years, this teacher’s involvement with the members of the class of 2013 has been evident. Through his leadership of the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) and the Connecticut Youth Forum, he has brought awareness and acceptance to the school community. Many students have the opportunity to learn under his guidance in his Civics and Philosophy classes. Prompting debates on important issues, he has inspired many students to respect differences in opinion and has opened their eyes to world issues. He has helped students self-reflect and has taught many in the class of 2013 about life in general. As a result of his investment in the betterment of the school, Mr. Kevin Brodie deserves the yearbook dedication.”

I know this is a blog, but my words cannot adequately express how moved I was by this dedication. I was district Teacher of the Year in 2008, and I was proud to be named so. To have the respect of your peers is extremely important. However, I became a teacher to make a difference in the lives of students. When they take the time to not only acknowledge what you have done, but honor it with their appreciation—that makes it all worthwhile.

I cannot imagine a better feeling as an educator. This dedication will stay will me always.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2013 3:32 pm

    Congratulations! Through my experiences with you at Lyman as well, I whole-heartily agree with their decision. 🙂

  2. July 6, 2013 4:54 am

    How sweet! Congrats!

  3. Lucy Simard permalink
    July 12, 2013 9:34 pm

    And it WILL stay with you always. I am proud and honored to have called you my colleague and friend for all these years and can truly think of no one more deserving of this honor. Enjoy it! It has been a great year for you, Kevin!

  4. July 28, 2013 9:01 pm

    Luce,

    I don’t kow what to say to that. Thank you so much! You are very kind. 🙂

    Kevin

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