Friday, May 22, 2009

Its that time of year, already?

I can hardly believe that this school year is almost over and that I will need to pack up my things for the summer in just a few short weeks. While I marvel over the progress of most of my students and continue to be concerned about others, I am reminded that the 2009-2019 school year is nearly upon us.

This morning the principal had an open house and invited the new early childhood parents. I met three of the eight new families for my classroom. That is nearly half and a higher turn out than in most years. They seemed eager for their children to start. They had questions that I answered while their children played with the current students on the playground. I tried to sneak in some observations of their children. Did they climb well? Did they socialize well with others or did they play by themselves?

By this point in the year, I have grown quite attached to many of my students and so the end of the year is bittersweet. I am both amazed and proud of how much they have accomplished and at the same time, a little sad to see them go. One of my students has been with me for three years and I know he is ready to move on but I will miss him. I have come to know him and his quirkiness really well. I admire his mother for working hard with him at home and being his biggest advocate.

I am fortunate that some of my students will stay with me for the next school year, so planning is always interesting at the beginning of the year. I have half a class of students who know me really well and another half who are possibly coming to school for the first time and looking at me like the stranger I am. But I am not ready.

I am not yet ready to say farewell to the current group of students. I am not yet ready to be done for the year, to pack my classroom materials in countless plastic bins and recycled boxes. I am not yet ready to lug a majority of those storage containers into my basement. Most importantly,I am not yet ready to let them go. I know I have worked hard and given them a solid academic foundation. I can only hope that I have instilled a love of learning and a love of books in all of them. I hope that I have served as a model of good character I hope that I can cherish these last few weeks with the whole class and most especially the time with the kids who are leaving. They are a wonderful group of kids and they will be missed.

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