My last day with my students was so emotional.
This class was especially hard to say goodbye to because I have spent both last semester and half of this semester with them.
On top of that, I spent significantly more time actually in the classroom, compared to other semesters.
I’ve really gotten to know and build special relationships with each and every one of these students.
Towards the end of the day, they “celebrated” me by showering me with gifts, going around the circle giving me affirmations, and eating lots of delicious snacks.
I burst into tears when I was handed the class gift they had gotten for me, which was a copy of “What Do You Do with an Idea?’ by Kobi Yamada with a sweet note saying “Your ideas make this world a better place” and each student’s signature. I managed to make everyone else cry, and the entire class engulfed me in a big group hug.
Through my tears, I tried to tell my students how much my time with them had meant, and how I would never forget them, especially since they were my first real classroom that I got to teach and really make my own.
I truly believe that my time in this classroom has shaped who I am as a teacher and will forever have an impact on my career as an educator.
I was surprised and touched to see that so many of the students were sad to see me go. Even the boys and the English Language Learners in the class, who I constantly worried about whether or not I was effectively building relationships with, all lined up to give me hugs and teared up.
It wasn’t until this moment that I realized that I may have managed to make just as much of an impact on them as they did on me.
The rest of the week was spent in parent-teacher conferences. This was my second time sitting in on conferencing with these student’s parents, so I wasn’t that anxious. In fact, I was really just excited to get to gush to these parents about how wonderful their children were. I kept wanting to thank the parents for raising such wonderful kids, and for trusting me with their education.
I truly believe this semester and a half was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given, and feel so fortunate to have found a home in this classroom.
There were plenty of days when I was stressed out, exhausted, and discouraged. With that being said, at the end of the day, it wasn’t that hard because these kids constantly reminded me of why I came into this field in the first place and gave me the motivation to do the best that I could.
I write this post from my bedroom in Verona, ready to start the next part of my student teaching adventure. Although I am linguistically and culturally an outsider here, I carry a new found sense of confidence with me, which I have gained from my time in this class.