I'm still on such a high from last night's retirement dinner for my dad. I've decided that he is the Mick Jagger of teachers without the drugs and the lips. While some teachers (and rock stars) hang up their guitars - or put away their red pens - at 30, 35 or 40 years of playing, my dad hung on for a record 44 years! I believe that is a record in the school district.
The attendees at the dinner were like groupies at a rock concert. Everyone wanted to shake his hand. Twenty-somethings in sundresses wore crazy hats in his honor. They yelled out his name to get his attention. Fellow teachers and administrators riled him about his lack of technology skills, but praised him for his ability to teach, connect with students and teachers and make a difference. His team of teachers spent numerous hours on Photoshop placing him with famous people on Mount Rushmore and calling him King Krant (in a King Tut head-dress). It ended with a montage of yearbook photos and other memories to the classic song by Kenny Rogers "Through the Years." There was not a dry eye at our table.
At the end, there was a standing ovation - like an audience who won't go home waiting an encore performance. The only thing that was missing were the cigarette lighters. And when it is was all over, you felt like "Elvis" had left the building. Rock on, Dad. Rock on!