There are many people who can influence us in life, but sometimes it is a teacher that has the greatest influence. For many teachers, that is the reason they are teaching in the first place because they wanted to shape the minds of today’s youth.
For one teacher who is retiring after 50 years of service at the Northview High School in Grand Rapids, the sendoff was one that was quite memorable. 72-year-old Dr. Sheridan Steelman was walking out of the building, getting ready to say goodbye to the school forever when she got a surprise.
As Dr. Steelman left the building, students were lining the hallways and gave her a warm round of applause as she departed. You can tell that she wasn’t expecting such a gesture and someone had to get her a tissue to wipe her tears.
Along with walking out of the school, she also spun around and hugged another teacher as she exited the building. Her daughter was on hand to take a video of the event and she shared it on TikTok. It has gone viral with millions of people viewing and liking it.
She speaks about how her mother started teaching when she was 22 years old and her entire career was spent at that high school. Eventually, she was a curriculum teacher leader and a department leader. She earned her PhD when she was 67 years old, raised six children, and wrote a book on Shakespeare.
The principal of Northview, Mark Thomas spoke to Good Morning America.
He said: “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an educator just adjust and adapt to serve their students over the years, in order just to continue to promote learning. Some people can, in all phases of life, replicate what they’ve done and do that over time. Well, she constantly reviews her practices and constantly takes feedback from her students, and constantly looks at new innovations and best practices and she implements those in her classroom.”
Although Dr. Steelman retired after 50 years, she feels as if she could’ve kept going. The reason why she was able to make it to 50 years is that she was enjoying herself and learning a lot along the way. She also said: “But I also feel like it’s time and even though they say, ‘Well, were you ready?’ No, but it’s time.”
@katherineinmanhattan Wholesome teacher content 🥺❤️ love you mom!!!! #teachersoftiktok #teacherappreciation #mymom ♬ Cornfield Chase – Dorian Marko
According to Good Morning America, Dr. Steelman also has some parting words of wisdom for other educators. She tells them to stay balanced and to care for themselves. She also lets them know that they should be having fun and enjoying the moment because the children will remember it.
She finished her thought by saying: “They remember how they were treated as students and they remember that relationship that you had with them. They remember the funny things you talked about in class.”Whizzco