It was an emotional walk out of Northview High School for Sheridan Steelman, and the moment has since gone viral after bring shared on TikTok.
The Grand Rapids, Michigan, educator started teaching at the school 50 years ago, when she was 22.
“I thought it would be fun to reach the 50-year mark,” Steelman, 72, told Fox News Digital from Italy, where she’s on a vacation postponed two years from COVID-19.
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COVID, too, nearly derailed her plans to make the 50-year mark. “Teaching changed so much during that time,” she said.
But, Steelman decided, “if I was still enjoying myself and the students were still getting a lot from me, I would stay.” She was, and they were. And so on her last day of school, she asked her principal to walk her out the door.
“It made me feel like a million dollars.”
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He did, but not before gathering teachers and students to line the hallways. There were hugs and a few tears, as seen on the TikTok video posted by Steelman’s daughter, Katherine Steelman. The footage garnered more than 6.1 million views since being shared on June 1.
“It was so nice to see my students, it was such a beautiful thing,” Steelman said. “It made me feel like a million dollars.”
She said she felt for teachers who have left the profession in recent years due to the pandemic who were not given the same type of send-off.
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The video, Steelman said, is “a tribute to teaching.”
When asked what she’s going to miss most, the literature teacher named her students as well as her “inspirational” colleagues.
“Every day we [my students and I] explored literature together and had a wonderful back-and-forth exchange. I’ll miss reading and writing and learning with them,” she said. “I’ll keep learning, but it will be different.”
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