Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Last Day of School

Whenever I tell people that we're near the end of another school year, their response is usually something like, "Oh you must be so happy!" Although I sometimes pretend to be, just to seem normal, the truth is that I am a mess this time of year. Many of us are. We work in such a strange field, where every year we have to say goodbye to all of our students (who are essentially our co-workers, children, friends, and family all rolled into one) and start fresh in the fall. This is far from easy.

I cry every year on the last day of school. It's usually the moment when the last photo from our class slideshow fades, when I look at the clock and realize it's about to be all over. Sometimes kids are already crying by that point, which just sets me off worse. We have a tradition where all of the teachers line up in front of the school to wave the buses off with colorful scarves. I'm one of the ones waving a Kleenex and bawling.

This year my class made me a beautiful book full of letters and sweet drawings. They've been working on it in secret, during recesses, lunches, or when they could get permission to go into the hallway during silent reading. They presented it to me this morning as school started, and I completely lost it. It's clear that they had minimal (if any) parent help on the book, which makes it all the sweeter. Getting 24 third graders on the same page about anything takes a lot of work, so what really touched me was that they organized themselves and cooperated on this incredible gift for me.

So if you know a teacher, give him or her a hug this time of year. As Mr. Rogers once said,
"Transitions are almost always signs of growth, but they can bring feelings of loss. To get somewhere new, we may have to leave somewhere else behind."
Happy summer. :)


  1. Well said, friend. Glad we could be there for each other today. Thanks for my crab tower. :)

  2. I have an award for you