To me, watching my students walk across the stage at graduation is simultaneously the highlight and the hardest moment of the year. It is difficult to know that these young men and women of God with whom I have been able to spend the last years of high school are moving outside of my friendly, familiar classroom into a big, sometimes scary world. Even if they come back to visit, the relationship I have with them within my classroom walls was precious and I will miss it. However, the vision of the things God has in store for them is so encouraging. The education they have received at Calvin is not just to get them into a good college, it is to prepare them for a lifetime of serving God’s Kingdom! I am so blessed to be a part of it.
After AP exams are over and the last few books of the semester are read and discussed, I usually spend a week with the seniors working on crafting a resume, practicing interviewing techniques, and discussing things they will need to know for their future in college and beyond. This year, I was thrilled to have two guest mock-interviewers, one of who had been an HR professional for years, give them pointers on how to stand out from the crowd by revealing their character and their gifts. It is so fun to see the shadows of who they are becoming and will be in their future careers.
The greatest comfort when I see them walk across that stage though, is not the confidence that this interviewing practice will land them their dream job. My comfort is not the hope that in a few years they will return saying, as many of my past students have, that their initial college essays were a breeze compared to my class and that they felt prepared. My greatest comfort is not even that they have learned how to properly think and view truth from a Christian perspective because of repeated classroom discussions determining the worldview of everything they read, watched, and came in contact with. My greatest comfort is that my students are not their own, but belong to God, and that each element of their education has worked together for their good in his sovereign design, preparing them for a kingdom of service. As the summer draws near, I am increasingly thankful that God uses me and my colleagues at Calvin as tools to prepare this children for the rest of eternity.