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.
I’m sad for you too. I’ve had some of my students these past 3 years at the ends because I took over for a teacher 2 years ago, then helped one last year, & now this one. We will need to say goodbye, & especially to those continuing students off to high school. We usually do have our students 2-3 years, so I know what you mean. You have been lucky to have made the moves & kept the students. What a gift. Best wishes Carrie. This is a loving post!
I am very flexible in terms of what grades I teach – always thinking of what can make the best situation for the children. When I can have students for more than one year, I am always thrilled.
Oh, you are celebrating them in such a grown up way. Letting go, knowing they have become so much along with you. These children are a gift that grows with you and your guidance. Thank you for sharing them with us.
Thank you Julieanne. It has been so very special.
The kids have grown close to your heart and the goodbyes will be sad. I am glad you find the positive and celebrate the journey and transformations. You will have three more months of learning and fun ahead.
This is me trying to be wise and brave. I will also be big mess at times.
Carrie, it is amazing to watch learners grow and you have had such a gift of years to witness growth. This growth over time is something to be cherished.
I completely agree. Hoping if I start with a young group next year that I can loop them the following year.
What a gift you all have had to be together so long. Enjoy these months of memories that you are making as you near the end of this special time.
Thanks so much Crystal. I really do recognize how special it is.
I know how after a year goes by with a class it can bring someone to tears. I feel your pain, I see so many of my reading intervention students for 2-4 years, it’s always hard to see them move on to the next school. And I only see them for 30min-1hr each day. I always remind myself that I’ve helped them bloom. They always flourish, and I know I’ve done my job.
And that’s exactly why I call it bittersweet 🙂 It’s an amazing aspect to our job – how close we become with these children and how exciting it is to celebrate their learning.
Reading this post made me breathe deep and sigh. I’ve only met your class ever so briefly and I had tears in my eyes reading the paragraph about how each of you has grown and changed. I know that these children have touched you deeply which pales in comparison only to how you have touched the very foundation of each one of their lives!
I am so glad you came to visit Stephanie. These kids really are so special. I love that there have been witnesses 🙂
Your post resonated with me because I often work with the same students over several years. When it’s time for our fifth grade farewell at the end of the year, I always have such a hard time saying good-bye to my students. This is truly a “bittersweet” time of the school year.
I think this is a common feeling – although I do know some teachers who never want to work with the same group of kids for more than one year. I can’t imagine!
Love this. I love teaching students for multiple years because it truly builds a bond that is hard to get in a year. It is powerful.
So powerful! I have been very blessed to have this opportunity.
You are so sweet.