It’s that time again. The time of year when on one hand you are counting the days to fun in the sun and on the other hand you are dreading saying good bye to your students. As the year ends, there are so many things to look forward to! Awards ceremonies, concerts, fun days, and getting to all the crafty stuff we haven’t had time to do during the year are just a few of the perks the end of the school year provides. Mixed in with those, however, are the creeping thoughts that these are the last smiles and laughs you’ll hear from these students for the summer. Hopefully they come back to visit on their way to 5th grade next year, but for some they won’t. They may be moving or transferring schools. As a teacher I am often asked towards this point in June, “so how many days do you have left?” Some days I know the number, but most days I respond, “not enough.”
To the parents of my students this year: Thank you!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your children with me. Thank you for trusting me to guide them academically. Thank you for getting them to school each day so I could hear all their stories. Thank you for letting me share in their triumphs at concerts and sporting events. Thank you for all the supplies and goodies sent in throughout the year (and for sticking to my healthy snacks only rule!).
To my students: We aren’t done yet! Thank you for coming and still being eager to learn. Thank you for all the encouraging pictures and notes you leave me daily. Thank you for your smiles and hugs. Thank you for your funny stories. Thank you for trying your best each day. Thank you for being you. Thank you for challenging me to be the best me I can be and to learn better ways to teach you what you need to know! Thank you for putting up with substitutes when I needed to attend trainings or care for my own kids when they were sick. Thank you for the last 100+ days of laughter and learning.
To my husband and kids: Thank you for sharing me with my students. Thank you for understanding when I needed to spend hours grading or planning. Thank you for being my guinea pigs for many of my teaching ideas. Thank you for coming to give me hugs at the end of some of the longer days throughout the year. Thank you for adopting my class as part of our extended family and asking about them by name each night.
Our school’s motto is “Then, Now, Always Family.” I can honestly say my family grows by 18-20 kids each year. We laugh together, cry together, get mad at each other, get frustrated by each other, and learn from each other every day. At the end of the day though, I can honestly say my heart grows exponentially each year to add “my kids” to my family. You may leave, I may have a hard time placing a name in a few years when you are 2 feet taller than me and grown, but you’ll always be welcome in our school, in my class, or in what ever office I end up in some day as my career evolves. I am always and email or a tweet away. I cherish these final days and our final memories of this 4th grade year. Each year I start off with a theme song and end with a farewell song and video. Stay tuned for our farewell video the last day of school (it takes me a while to get through it! Choosing pictures is hard when you are either cracking up or tearing up!).