The Next Level Beckons

painting by Norman Rockwell

This school teacher is feeling the May/June crunch right now.  The end of a school year is an extended period of intense deadlines, with an amazing amount of paper work, and the added emotional process of finding a way to say goodbye to children you’ve come to love and in whom you’ve invested a tremendous amount of your time and energy.

As I sat through my second graders’ musical performance this week, feeling pride and joy in their 8-year-old talents and enthusiasm, loving those toothless smiles, I realized that it’s time already to start letting them move on. The next level beckons. The world calls. I will give them all a big hug on the last day of school (about 4 weeks from now), and hoping they’ll  come back to visit me from time to time, I’ll say goodbye.  It’s a cycle I will have experienced 24 different times, but there are always tears when the last child leaves the room and that quiet descends.

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5 thoughts on “The Next Level Beckons

  1. Les in NE

    Even with two dozen years of experience, I’m sure it’s still heartbreaking to see them leave. My favorite (and most memorable) teachers were Mrs. Bauer (3rd grade), Mrs. Campbell (5th grade) and Mr. Brown (6th grade). I still think of my days in their classrooms and all the fun experiences my classmates and I had with each of them.

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  2. Shelley

    I write, but teaching is my income, and also my alternate vocation. Right now it’s a little discouraging, so thanks for that picture.

    There are moments, aren’t there?

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  3. Tamara

    Your tears show your a teacher with a heart for the children – what a special experience your students have had – to know the care of someone like you. May your end of year moments with those students be like stepping stones to the future. (for you and for them)

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  4. Lisa

    I’m tearing up just reading this! After having three children work their way through elementary school, I’ve often been witness to that last hug and it almost never ceased to make me teary. Often, when my children had had a particularly wonderful teacher, I didn’t even bother to try to hide my sadness that they would no longer have this teacher who I knew loved them. You sound like just that kind of teacher!

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