The love and laughter we create through a year is unforgettable, some more than others. But each year, every student becomes a part of our heart as we watch them pass on to the next grade. We sit back proud of the accomplishments they made, and we wish we had more time to work with them over that math problem or those sight words just one more time. There is never enough time to truly work with the students everyday the way we plan to. Crazy schedules get in the way, and testing becomes the norm. We used to teach students how to write neatly and take their time on their work. Now it is a rush to fit it all in. I miss the days where we could teach and the students would learn and we even had fun along the way. The most amazing thing, my students succeeded even then without Pinterest! Times have changed in the past 17 years when I was a brand new teacher. I have learned that I never stop learning and I'm always finding a new way to teach my kids. I spend most of my paycheck on Teachers Pay Teachers. I work long hours and miss time with my family, not because I have to, but because I want to. It is something I enjoy doing for my students. I do it because I want my students to know they can dream and they can reach for the stars and they can be whatever they want to do. I do it because I want for them to be the best they can be. I do it because I love them.
Today we lost a previous student due to a sudden illness and even though this child wasn't in my class, she still touched my heart. I can't imagine losing a child, and I won't pretend I know what's it's like. But my heart still breaks for this child that brought so much joy and laughter to everyone around her. She was my son's age. I won't say I can feel the parents pain, because I can't imagine. But when we have a child come into our classroom, they become "like mine." For 180 days we watch this child grow in our classrooms and to me it is such a privilege to spend time with these amazing souls. No matter how old they get, I can still remember how each one made me laugh or the even the ones that loved to drive me crazy. I love getting stopped by students that have graduated and give me a hug and tell me they loved being in my class. What a great feeling that they still remember their second grade teacher.
I have always said that they are the ones that teach me. I love seeing the world through their eyes.
For all the parents reading this, thank you for sharing your child with me! We are the lucky ones!