Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tales of a Teacher: Bittersweet Moments

So we are down to the final two days of school! It's been an excruciatingly long year for everyone involved. Alhamdullilah, I have made it through my first year of teaching. And had lots of ups and downs.

I came out of this experience knowing a helluva lot more than I knew going in.

Hey, that's what first years all about: LEARNING.

I made mistakes and will probably continue to make them. But it's something you move past and learn from.

Yesterday (the third day before the last day) I told my students that they would be doing a meet and greet session with their future second grade teacher. And I expected them to be really excited to leave the room for an hour (some were), but what I got from most of them wasnt excitement. It was tears.

About seven kids started crying and wanted to give me hugs. And I knew that they would be sad, but I really wasnt expecting tears. It was amusing, and bittersweet, at the same time. I'm going to miss my students. As much as I complained about them this year (maybe not as much on the blog as I should have) I grew attached to them, and they to me. We all became used to one another and the daily routine that we have/had going.

We all know/knew what to expect from one another and we grew together. As a class. We each learned something about one another and built a relationship of teacher and student. Now I have to let them go and begin a new chapter in my life. And so do they.

When I met my future 1st graders (the kindergartners) and they were sitting in my current first grader's seats, a moment passed where I had to readjust my thoughts and tell myself these kids are my priority now (or will be, come September). Here comes another change, and as all changes that come in my life, I'm really scared/sad. And not quite ready. I'm glad to have the summer to prepare myself for this and make the transition back into teaching a whole new set of children.

Just gotta go with the flow.

P.S. I am happy to inform you, though, that during the meet and greet, I already terrified the new first graders. :)

P.P.S. When I asked the new first graders if they had any questions for me, one student asked, "Why aren't you married?" HAHA


Madame Lefty said...

Haha, they ask me the same thing and my kids are tenth graders.

Falling Up said...

Awww cutie. <3

Don't worry about next years kids. You'll be great with them. i think the hardest part for me would be saying goodbye because you get so attached, you learn each kids quirks and bonded with them all year long.

but I see what you mean about the new kids. New adjustments. I hope they aren't annoying. :)

Muslim Girl said...

I think if anyone doubted your being a good teacher, this post (and the tears!) just totally proved them wrong.

And LOL at the married question! Really?! By a FIRST GRADER?

Sulthana said...

lol at the married comment - I work part time at a school and I get those questions too - even had a 7 year old try to set me up! Lol :-) Also kids that age get attached so easily!
But yes sounds like you made a good teacher, their tears prove it :-)

Heckety said...

Bittersweet just sums it up. Its hard letting them go after a whole year of getting to know them, and its hard to come to terms with starting a whole new bunch of children. Every class has its idiocyncracies and clowns, and every class is different. Every year will be different- heck! every blinking day is different! I decided to be a teacher as I have a low tolerence for boredom and you know what? after 25 years teaching (on and off) I've not yet had a boring day!!

Well done yourself- in many ways the first year is the hardest, and now you are there with it behind you! Give the girl a MEDAL!!!!!!!

MaryAnne said...

What a wonderful and horrifying age group! Have a great summer!

AL said...

I'm surprised that they actually cried for u ha!
anyways good luck next year

Kate said...

Ohmigoodness, kids ask and say the funniest things. A book could be written about them. The first year is always the hardest, so you'll look forward to an easier time each year from now on.

I remember after my first year that I never thought I would connect and care about my new students as much as those first ones. Each year the kids find a way to wiggle into your heart and leave their precious prints there.

I think it is so great that you survived your first year and hope you have many more years of teaching. With so many kids of the Muslim faith in my class, school, and district I wish those kids had role models who looked like them, like you!

You made a great difference to many kids this year, and that will live on with them forever. Research shows that when a student has 3 consecutive positive teachers it can change the path of their life. What a great mission and responsibility we have!