We have just begun the third term of our 2014/2015 year. Everyone is remarking that time has flown. It always does. Talk is beginning of next year. Who will teach what? What classes might we have? What changes do we want to make?
In my classroom community, a bittersweet feeling is beginning to settle. This term marks the beginning of the end. Many of us have been together for three years. More than half of my current students began as Grade 2 children in a Grade 2/3 class. They then moved into a Grade 2/3/4 as Grade 3s and now they are in Grade 4 in a Grade 3/4 class. Others are in their second year in the room. We are close. Really close.
We have experienced many things together. Memory making things that connect us. But it is more than mere moments. It is the transformations. The changes that we have all witnessed and can name. Little learners have grown into older learners and have found amazing things along the way. Some of us have realized we are writers. That words, our words, can be powerful. Others have become readers and need pages to read like others need air to breathe. Some of us have become leaders. Artists. The rational voice. Singers. Athletes. Some have learned to speak up and share ideas. Others are beautifully compassionate and caring. Some offer incredible perspective. Some are quietly wise. Some are trying to inspire change, to stir up community. Many of us are outspoken and passionate. Even quietly, most of us have realized we have opinions and that others want to hear them.
Yes, all of us are a little of all of these things but identities are being developed. It has been amazing to observe, to nurture and to celebrate this.
I should only be celebrating but I know that I will have many moments of sad too. I would love to keep these children in my room forever. Even though I know that the new students next year will bring their own love and their own amazing.
It has been a very special gift to teach so many children for so long. I may never have this opportunity again and I know it. All children teach me so much. These children have been particularly influential. This is my 20th year at this school and I don’t think I have ever been so full of change and possibility. Wanting the room to be full of learning and security for these children has pushed me to risk take and shift and reassess constantly. My learning has been perhaps the most rich.
So that I am not a crumpled mess in June when I have to say goodbye to my students, I need to begin now to find perspective. The perspective that we will carry each of us in how we move forward, knowing, that we are so very blessed to have been influenced so deeply by each other.
This is what I celebrate this week. Each child in my room and the journey we have all experienced together. I will hold these last months very close.
Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks.