April came and went…no blog. May is almost over….what have I been doing for the past few months!? Let me tell you.
It is no secret that the end of the school year is full of responsibilities, meetings, events, awards, planning, and everything else. So, here I am tonight writing about something heavy on my heart because writing helps me work through things. I have been struggling through something that I know many teachers who have left the classroom feel constantly. It is a normal thing when you start having students and parents express their gratitude at the end of the year. Every year I cry like a baby at the end of the year because I can’t imagine my kids leaving me. They are MY kids. Always.
This past month has been an emotional one, but especially the past few weeks because of the different situations in my life.
The first one: I attended the high school graduation of a student I had in first grade and then looped up to second grade with. Spending two years with your students makes for a tough release. 🙂 I was thrilled when I was invited to drive to Oklahoma for this graduation and see him graduate Valedictorian and all the honors he received. We were able to talk about fun times in my class and he told me things he remembered about me and my class.
The second one: I switched schools this year and so all of my babies are not here at this school. However, just the other day the Dove Dynamic Drummers came to my new school to perform. It was a reunion of kids and families I had! When I saw my kids and parents with tears in their eyes, I knew it was going to kill me…but I kept it together. I hugged them so tightly and we caught up on things going on. I held it together pretty well, until they walked out the door. I walked back to my room and broke down.
The third one: I drove back up to Oklahoma to attend two more graduations of students of honors and Valedictorians from that same 1st/2nd grade loop class. (You know, it would be too easy to have them all graduate from the same HS!) Not only did I attend the graduations, but I was able to attend their family functions and parties to be able to have face time catching up. Like the first trip, we all laughed about things and they retold stories about what they remembered about my class and how much I meant to them. I felt incredibly old sitting there with these little adults now! These kiddos are my babies (still) and their families are family to me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
All of that makes this an extremely emotional end of year!! I don’t even want to go into the fact MY own child is completing another school year, making her grow up even faster. She’s my baby. The only one.
So with all that being said, I try to think about the blessings through all these tears – tears of happiness, tears of sadness, and tears of pride and joy! I remind myself that THIS is why my heart and decisions are always centered around relationships.
This is my number one focus. When all of my students tell me what they remember are things like: how I loved them, how I told them everyday I loved them and we are family, how we hugged every morning when they came in and afternoon before leaving, how we cried when I told them I was not teaching them in 3rd, how they had fun in my class, how it was always fair in my class (funny, given we know life isn’t always fair!), how we danced and sang and it made them feel better…..I know I am focusing on the right things and glad I have made that impact! I know they learned and it was BECAUSE we had that relationship first.
I am so proud of all of my babies….past, present, and future! I hope they know they will always hold a special place in my heart. There truly is room for them all!! 🙂
Cherish these last days with your babies!