Good Bye, Fifth Graders! Be good…..


I love the last week of school because the atmosphere in the building is joyful, silly, celebratory.  We have “Crazy Hair Day” and “Picnic Lunch Day”. We put on our play, everyone gives extra recess, and the math books are packed away for the summer.

I love this week.

I hate the last week of school because it means letting go.  For ten long months, I have thought about these twenty five children day and night, adapting lessons for them, watching them at work and play.  I have felt responsible for their learning, their growth, their confidence.  I have fretted over the ones who can’t seem to speak up, and sputtered over the once who can’t stay quiet no matter how I scold.

I hate this week because it is such an abrupt and complete break with these children whom I have nurtured and loved.  As they leave my door on the last day of school, I know about their families, their health issues, their special education plans.  I am part of the fabric of their lives, as I have been since the end of August.

But when they come back in the fall, I will no longer be privy to those facts, nor should I be.  Confidentiality is vital in a school, and the families of our children deserve to be protected from gossip and chatter.  Professionally speaking, I have no need to find out how K’s eye doctor visit turned out, even if I was the one who first noticed the problem.  I have no need to know about squabbles between families or among family members, even though in the spring I was asked to help G to handle them.

In the fall I will no longer be a part of those lives that mean so very much to me right now.  They will walk out this door in three days, and I will wave goodbye and call “Happy Summer!”

Then I will open my hands, hold them toward the west wind, and I will slowly and sadly let go.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. I always hated leaving a favorite teacher’s class:( What do you teach btw?

    Reply

    • Hi, so glad you found my relatively obscure blog!
      I teach fifth grade in a public elementary school in Massachusetts.
      I hope, hope, hope that my kids hate to leave my class….!

      Reply

  2. Posted by Natalie on June 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I had a hard time leaving my 3rd grade students as well, but life keeps on moving. Enjoy your summer break!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Lisa Williams on June 29, 2012 at 1:20 am

    I love this post… but I would say that I had my kids for two years when I and although I have been out of the “loop” with them for a few years, I still feel bonded and have remained in contact with quite a few – and their parents. I do see, however, the reality of letting go and moving on. I am not privy to the everyday life experiences, but, the connection is still there. I think we are always connected, in some way, and hope they will always remember us. 🙂 Enjoy your summer!!

    Reply

    • Thanks! I hope that I will stay in touch with some of the kids, but what has happened for the most part is that they just move on. When I run into kids around town, it is always fun and always positive, but I still know that I have to let them go. Its a process that sort of goes against my nature!

      Reply

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