“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”. ~ Winnie the Pooh
This time of year hurts my heart and soul more than I can express in words. I have been a people person since the day I could talk or maybe before. Saying goodbye has never been easy for me, when I was little I would cry for days before my grandparents would pack up to head back to Iowa, I cried when Full House ended, and I cried every year on the last day of school. I guess in some ways that explains why I have been in tears hourly this week as the end of the year draws near.
This year wasn’t always easy for me student wise to say the least. I have no doubt that I was a grumpy pain to them some days just as they were to me on others but today as I watched them participate in one of our last team parties for the year that I realized that I will miss them just the same. The good, the bad, the indifferent, they all weave their places in my heart the same way regardless. I started getting cute notes from them today about my singing, dancing, and otherwise ridiculousness and I pray that is what they remember. I hope they look back and think that lady was crazy but she loved us and she loved teaching us math even when we didn’t realize it.
My Kids Teachers
I cried writing Jackson’s teacher an e-mail today. As a teacher I realize maybe more than most just how precious the hours teachers spend with my little ones are. I could write a million different blog posts about the things she has done for Jackson this year and thank you will never be enough. And then there is Embry’s Preschool and the teachers there who loved her and all of us through a time of transition. I am not sure there is a way to say thank you or goodbye to the people that touch your children’s lives.
We had our retirement breakfast at school this morning and here is a shocker…I cried. It is such a time of celebration for the people that dedicated their lives for 27 years plus to kids. They are the people whose families missed out on time with them, the people who spent hours at school on weekends, the people who spent money they didn’t have on supplies their students needed, and the people who made sure new teachers survived their first years. For me it is a time of not only being happy for them but knowing how I will miss their smiling faces in the halls, how the kids will miss the hugs and love they provided on bad days, and how our school will miss their dedication and leadership.
There is one teacher in particular leaving this year that taught me more about living life and teaching than she will ever realize. I won’t name her here because that’s not the kind of person she is. She is the person who has stood in the shadows so others, especially her students can shine. When I hear Tim McGraw’s new song “Humble and Kind” she is the first face I see because she if always humble and kind. It will just never be the same without her.
The Best Friends
This has by far been the hardest part of teaching for me…the colleagues that have become lifelong friends. I never fully recovered from my main man Joe Payne leaving me and this year my “other Joe” is spreading his wings and going as well. This quote summed up my feelings on this quite well:
“It’s painful to say goodbye to someone you that you don’t want to let go. But it’s more painful to ask someone to stay if you know they really want to go.”
I remember discussing in an Educational Leadership class that the true mark of a good leader is helping others become strong leaders. I am not conceded enough to believe any of these individuals are better leaders or more successful because of me, but I do think it speaks to the kind of people I have been able to surround myself with. They are game changers and the finest educators I have had the opportunity to work in a building with. It has been an honor to work with you.
If you see me anytime in the next two days I will be a mess for the record…I will be trying to figure out how I now have a 3rd Grader and Kindergartener, I will be trying to figure out how to say goodbye to some kids that really touched my heart, I will be trying to figure out how to go to work next year in my pod without one of my favorite people, and I will be trying to figure out how to say goodbye to lifelong friends. However the beauty of teaching is that it is like an eternal spring, after the goodbyes are said and the classrooms are packed up they will be unpacked again and ready for a whole new group of people to touch my heart. In the meantime I will be thankful I have people and a profession in my life that make it hard to say goodbye.