So every year I have an incredibly hard time saying goodbye to my kiddos. Each year I find myself meeting the end of the school year with a certain amount of nostalgia and sadness. This year is absolutely going to kick me in the emotional rear. I've now known some of my students for three years as they were in my "Mock UN" club my first year teaching (which was also the first year my school opened) and I have looked forward to having them now for three years.
So last year I sent a personalized email to each class (I have my classes separated by email). I told the parents a little bit about the character of each class and why they were special to me. This year I did that the day before the last day. The students came on the last day and were happily telling me about how their parents told them about our class and how special it was. It went a long way in terms of my students coming to terms with the end of the year
I also made books for the kids to write in which were beautiful and sweet. Titles "Advice for future 8th Grade Students", "Memories", and "Notes to Ms. Puckett". I had them out the last week of school and students could fill them in at their leisure.
Sometimes kids have things to say that you never knew.
This one brought me to tears:
"Hey Puckett! this year I've been through so much more bad than good. I've struggled a lot and I basically felt like I had no one. but you being the best teacher would honestly make me smile everyday. I don't talk much in your class but I still felt like I was a part of something. your high fives every day and your crazy jokes are the best. Thank you for believing in me when no one else did. Thank you for teaching me that being different was perfectly okay. Thank you for everything that you do and keep teaching because students love you! I love you and you really are one of the best teachers ever. I'm gonna miss you a lot. Stay Crazy (:"
Sometimes we forget the impact we can have. Sometimes we can forget that every child during this time walks a different and unique path that is sometimes paved with internal struggle. I can honestly say I enjoyed teaching this girl greatly, but this note made me realize how much closer attention I need to be paying.
These last days are precious... don't waste them watching movies and taking down your classroom. Enjoy your precious time with them.
I read books to my kids on the last day but that my friends... is another blogpost entirely.