no more teachers' dirty looks!
today is babysitting day. i'll put them to work cleaning and whatnot, but it's pretty much a wasted day. a time to say goodbye and good luck. this year is different than those past in my career in that i'll actually get to see these munchkins next year. i'll get to see them grow and change all the way through sixth grade. the last four have been particularly difficult on the last day because i knew full well i wouldn't see the kids again. teaching at a school where second graders were the oldest kids was simultaneously awesome and heart wrenching. there were often tears on both sides as i said goodbye to students that i knew would never be able to visit irby again. houses too far out in the country. moving elsewhere. parents unwilling or unable to bring them after school or bring them to school events. last year was the hardest. telling my kids i was leaving a school that i loved for an uncertain future overseas. it was rough. one girl in particular, i'll never forget. her sister was in my first class, she was in headstart that year. i'd seen her grow into a pretty amazing little girl in four years, and me leaving was pretty tough on her. we keep in touch with email now, and maybe i'll get to see her in alachua when i pass through town next week.
the parents always ask me at the end of the year, "aren't you glad it's summer?" with a twinge of jealousy in their voices, since they don't have summers off jobs, or they've got the kids at home and less peace and quiet for 2 months. it's a bittersweet ending every year. each class is different. the fresh start in the fall is always interesting, but getting to know twenty or so new kids isn't as easy as seeing the same ones and knowing their quirks and how they learn best and what they enjoy.
next year figures to be a mix of old and new, if i indeed do teach third grade. some of this year's goodbyes will undoubtedly be some of next year's hellos. we'll see how it all shakes out...