On Friday, May 24th, it was my last day of school. I can't believe it's all over. It's weird to think that my students won't be with me anymore & they're all going to first grade (except for one.) As I was giving my students their portfolios and their large projects, it was hard for me to sit there & listen to their heartfelt words of the year:
"I don't want to go to first grade."
"I want to stay with you."
"I want to stay in kindergarten."
"But.. I'm going to miss you."
I kept explaining to them how much they're going to have fun with the first grade teachers, and they're an amazing group of students who have so much to offer to their new classes. As tears started to fall down my face, it occurred to my why they wanted to be called "E-101 Family." We built not just a community, but a safe space that the students wanted to call a family. T started to cry, and the other boys started to cry. We did one last group hug as we all said our goodbyes. They continued to say they're going to miss me, and they didn't want to leave.
As I hurried to open the door, I felt bad because the parents saw me crying and most of my students were crying. Some of the parents were emotional too, and I wished they didn't see me cry! As I excused my students, they each hugged me goodbye and continued to say their thank you's and I miss you's. I think the one goodbye that shocked me was S coming back into my room; I think he came back 3 times. Every hug made me realize that all the stubborn fights & the problems we had were all worth it in the end.
The perfect ending to the whole day was spending time with J & B. They refused to leave for afterschool program right away, so I told their group leader that I'll walk them myself. As I was getting everything ready, I just soaked in my last time to be with those 2 students. B asked me, "Even if you may not be my teacher next year, I'll get to see you at recess right?" It hurt so much to know that I couldn't give him a for sure answer. He & I also went through some tough times, and he's come a long way as well. On our way out, he called me mom for the 4th time & said he remembers every time he's called me "Mommy." -___- How wonderful.
Biggest lesson of the year: Everyone was right. Your first class will always have a special place in your heart. Mine's sure does :)
All my things are packed. My room is cleaned & ready to go. My keys are turned in. Its been fun & now the waiting game begins :)
Even if the school year is done, I'll still be updating my blog because there's some units from the school year that I want to document for next time. Plus, I'm teaching summer school again & I'm VERY excited for my class :) Here's to another summer at Mid-Pacific Institute!