We have a tradition in my class where the kids always have to tell me one thing they learned that day and leave with a hug. My kids have done it since the second week of school. So on the last day of school, in the middle of craziness from the party- the bell rang and my entire class of little loves lined up waiting for their turn to tell me what they loved and what they learned that day. 20 little eager faces standing there waiting and 1 teacher overwhelmed that even with the craziness that is the last day....they remembered.
Let's be honest I lost it....20 amazing kids, numerous incredible parents all standing there to see what I would do or say. I could not even open my mouth without bawling like a big baby....not just tears ya'll- the ugly cry where I'm sure my face didn't appear cute and I couldn't catch my breath enough to say what I had to say, but it was at that every moment that I realized that they got it- they saw that through the constant teaching, harping on using strategies, moments of sitting in my teal directors chair (which was a sign that we were either reading or having a serious talk- usually the second choice).....they got it and they knew that I loved my very first class more than any teacher could.
With that being said- I must also say this....
For the past 10 months, I have had 20 little shadows following me down the hallway, 20 little voices asking incredible questions and making some silly, but laughable comments, 20 smiling faces that greet me every morning, 20 little hearts that I held in my hands and in my heart and 20 incredible minds that I hope to have changed forever.
There are no words to say that can ever express how much all of my 20 kids meant to me. Each and every one of my students brought something special to our class and held a special place in my heart and the hearts of my small family. I tried my very best not only to teach them the everyday academics, but life lessons about being never giving up, remaining positive, being compassionate, trying your best, standing up for what you believe in, believing in yourself at all times, learning to accept the best in everyone you meet, the tradition of never leaving our class without giving a hug, and realizing that sometimes you have see that you are your best motivator and your best cheerleader. I might have thrown in some love for Charlie Brown, knowledge on football, and appreciation for the true story of Calvin and Hobbes (something I grew up reading).
I am forever grateful to all of my students and their parents for making this year one of my most memorable in teaching. All of them, both kids and parents hold a special place in my heart. At the end of the day on Wednesday, 21 (teacher included) went down to just 1…one heart that will be forever changed by each of my room 34 kids, one teacher who could have never imagined how much each little person would have changed her life, one adult who cried like a big baby in front of her amazing kids saying goodbye,and one teacher who can not wait to see the wonderful things her students do throughout life.
I'm sure that Bainbridge and I are not the only ones who cried....I'd love to hear your story of tears or no tears...how was the end of your school year and how was your last day.