“Goodbye! Have a great summer!”
We share those words and, in the blink of an eye, send our students on their way. Children who were strangers a mere nine months ago but have imprinted themselves on our hearts forever will walk out our classroom door, and our time together will become a memory.
Being a teacher is so rewarding. In what other profession do you have the opportunity to spend 180 days teaching, challenging, supporting, growing, and changing young minds? Our hearts grow bigger each year as they make room for a new group of children to build relationships with and care deeply about. What a blessing it is to have so many children we can call “ours” in some way or another.
In response to a news story: “She was one of mine. I taught her in third grade. She had just moved, and was so shy.”
When receiving a wedding invitation: “He was one of my sixth graders. He broke his arm that year and had the hardest time writing.”
After running into a man and his child at the grocery store: “I can’t believe he is a father. He was my student years ago and loved baseball.”
Their physical growth might challenge our memory, and it might take a few minutes to put a name to the face, but we remember, and when we do, our heart swells, because they are “ours” still. Whether near or far, whether in thoughts, words, or actions—we get to be proud of their successes, provide support in their life challenges, join in their celebrations, and mourn their losses. We were once their teacher, but we will always be their cheerleader.
It’s called the last day of school, but we all know that’s just a formality, for once they become “ours,” we never let them go. Here’s to an ever-growing team of students to love and cheer for.