Thursday, June 5, 2008

Emotional Moments & Tearful Good Byes

Well, this school year has rapidly drawn to a close. I've spent some very late nights this week grading projects, putting grades on report cards, and writing comments and thank you notes to each of my students. This afternoon our sixth graders had their graduation ceremony. Afterwards, they were allowed to roam the building and visit with past teachers and say their good byes.

I had quite a few students from last year stop my classroom to say thank you and good bye. Some of them had difficulty getting their words out and they were also shedding tears. These are those precious moments that remind me why I teach. One of my girls from last year came by to visit and the moment I opened my door she began to sob. She is one of those special kids that you know in your heart is going to make a difference in this world. We hugged and cried, laughed, and talked. She promised to come back and visit often.

Her best friend from last year (also a former student) moved to England right before the holiday this past year. I know that they miss each other a great deal and they continue to stay in touch via email and letters. After Lexi said good bye and left for home I went back to my desk to find that I had received an email from Sarah in England. She too is moving on to bigger and better things and reading her email made me feel rather emotional.

After all of this took place Zach stopped by right at the end of the day and the experience was much the same. This young man is going to go places. Of all the boys I've had he is by far one of the most caring and considerate young men I've had the opportunity to teach. He also has one hell of a sense of humor.

I have been very blessed to have had these kids as students and I know in my heart that they will grow up to be wonderful people, parents, and professionals in whatever field they choose. It's also nice to know that as difficult as my job can be at times it has rewards that no other profession can offer. This past year has really shown me what an impact we teachers have on the lives of the students we teach. As much as I complain about all the bulls#@$ that goes with it, I wouldn't trade my job for anything in the world. I have my current and former students to thank for that. I am a very lucky person to have had them in my life. My hope is that some of them feel the same. Today helped to reaffirm that fact.

Tomorrow will be a fun, but also difficult day. I get to say good bye to the kids which means "summer is here". Many of these kids will be going home to what you could call not ideal situations. For many of them the only stable environment they have is the classroom. I'll think about them often over the summer. Tomorrow also means saying good bye to Mark, our IT person. I've worked with and known Mark for 14 years. We have had some wonderful times together and it will be very difficult to see him go. I wish him all the best. We are loosing a tremendous asset and I really don't think the district realizes yet what they have given up and this really pisses me off.

The days ahead will offer plenty of time for biking, running, hiking, painting the house, working in the yard, visiting with friends, and preparing for next year.

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