Today marks my final day at Owings Mills High School. On the one hand, I can’t believe three years have sped by so quickly. On the other, there was more I had hoped to accomplish.I have spent these years with a handful of students for two or three years straight and I am amazed at how quickly and deeply I have bonded with many of them. And there were some I met only this year that have I grown close to.I am proud of many accomplishments, starting with the transition from publishing to teaching. Then it came to adjusting to the unique culture of the school, mastering the various subjects, and contributing to the environment. When I was handed Journalism this past year, I seized the opportunity and am very happy with what we managed, setting a foundation for further growth.What helped was the tremendous support and friendship I received from my English peers, who shared lessons and materials, helped co-plan, offered advice, and laughed at my jokes. Without them, it would have been far more difficult. The beginning and end of each day was a sheer pleasure thanks to the camaraderie in the faculty room.The department chair who hired me left after last year so that was an adjustment and one that proved challenging. This year, overall, was unexpectedly tough as students and I began our third year together with patterns established and tough to adjust even though I tried to raise my expectations.This week has been an emotional one for them and for me. One of my Creative Writing sections surprised me with a Batman balloon and Bat-mug along with cookies and a sign. Three of my long time students showed up yesterday with a Carvel ice cream cake and some tears. There have been hugs, high fives, and firm handshakes making realize how far most of them have come.What comes next?I’ve lined up some writing and editing for the summer, plus Deb and I have a vacation which we both could really use. I also have three courses left to finish my second Master’s Degree which I am determined to complete this fall. After that remains unclear with many, many options up available.Stay tuned to this space and I’ll keep you posted.