Signature Move


Signature — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Characters and letters
Swirled together
Sometimes in a flourish
Sometimes in a rush
Yet always unique
Always personal
Form a signature.

Our name.
Our autograph.
Stamping documents
And letters
As accurate
And personal.
Our best efforts
Our heartfelt wishes
Creating our signature.

Our signature
Is our promise.
Our signature
Is our bond.
Uniquely Us.

Uniquely Mrs. Bolger.
Distinctly Mrs. Camp.
Specifically Mrs. Cochrane.
Authentically Mrs. Donovan.
Exclusively Mrs. McAvoy.
Genuinely Mrs. VanSlyke.
Intimately Mrs. Zeivel.
Each of you soon
Signing off,
Bidding adieu.

Your students –
Years of faces
Hundreds of names
Now grown
Raising families
Realizing dreams
Making a difference
Those students –
Are your signature

Stamped for a lifetime
By your words
By your labor
By your lessons
And by your love.

Those lessons
Teaching them to form letters
And to forge character.
Properly organizing verbs and nouns,
And learning the primary elements
Of language
And literature
And our national constitution.

Your lessons –
Your signature lessons that taught them
Not only how to count
But more importantly,
that they count
That their words matter.

Your signature lessons that taught them
Not only how to graph a function
But more importantly,
how to function
within a society
that is sometimes cruel
and polarizing.

Your signature lessons that taught them
Not only how to write with voice
But how to find their voice
and how to speak life into others.

Your signature lessons that taught them
Not only the value of x or of y
But the value of struggle,
Of facing down their fears
Being able to make mistakes
And emerge stronger
More ready
For the road ahead.
Preparing them
And preparing us
for this day
when we part.

We, your colleagues –
Friends in the hallways
And in the lounge
Partners in the trenches
Navigating the ever changing seas
Of curriculum
And whatever passes for
“differentiated standardization”
We, your colleagues –
Are your signature

Verified for a lifetime
As kindred spirits
Of this spiritual calling
Known as teaching.

Thank you
Dear friends
For autographing our lives
With your unique signature.
Thank you
Dear colleagues
For pouring your hearts
Into generations of souls
Who now carry your lessons
Your love
Your signature
To dream
To strive
To believe
To be extraordinary.


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