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Saturday, June 23, 2012

My First Last Day of School

My last day of school was last Thursday, and I am just now getting to writing this down for you all (and myself...). It was a pretty emotional week, but I made it through. I wasn't sure that I would...

I had an amazing year teaching third grade. I love every single one of those little buggers and all twenty nine of them have a special place in my heart. I had been saving my little secret that I was not going to be returning to their school next year until the very last second to avoid the sadness that may accompany such an announcement, but it made me a nervous wreck. I hated the idea of any of them being sad. I even contemplated not telling them at all, but after a long discussion with my husband, I came to the decision that they needed to hear it from me. These kids trusted me. All year I stressed the importance of honesty in our classroom and by not telling them, and being honest about the situation, I would be betraying them and their trust. Any work or ground that we made together as a class would have been disregarded. So, I was going to wait until the very end to spill the beans.

We had a pretty fun day, but it went by in a flash. I was worried that the kids wouldn't have much to do, but I couldn't believe how quickly the day went. We started off the morning in the computer lab. They had their choice to either do Jiji Math or Dance Mat Typing. They love when they have choices and I really love getting them started with keyboarding early (and FREE!).

We have been counting down the last 20 days of school with hanging balloons and the kids really loved it.
All 20 balloons hanging for Open House.
The last day of school had a little piece of paper in it that said SCAVENGER HUNT and they literally cheered! But it wasn't your run-of-the-mill scavenger hunt that I had planned. We were using the Teacher Idea Factory Keep 'em Moving Activity which actually took up the rest of the day. You can get yours here:

Activities included an obstacle course, solving math problems, making a Father's Day card, filling a bucket, and the most difficult, making a friendship bracelet for one person in our class. I had one parent helper to help navigate the friendship bracelets and the cards, but it was CRAY CRAY! My kids could not braid. Not even a little bit. Some of them confessed that they can't even tie their shoes (Really?), so many ended up twisting their strings to give to a friends and I made the 6 that didn't get made at lunch time.

After lunch was the big goodbye. I was so nervous. First off, my gift to each student was their favorite book from our classroom library. I had asked them a few weeks back what their favorite book was and, unbelievably, I only had 2 overlapping favorites. So here we were, sitting on the carpet ready to go. I told them that when they went to fourth grade next year, I would not be teaching at their school, and that I was so lucky to have each one of them in my very first class. They each would hold a special place in my heart and because I was so proud of what we built as a class, I wanted each one of them to have a piece of our classroom to take with them. There were a few aaawwws, and some sad faces, but overall, things were good. Then, I stupidly decided to read the poem that I had put in the front of each one of their books. You know the one. "I'm glad I was your teacher..." It makes me cry nearly every time I read it, so I'm not sure what made me think it was a good idea to read it aloud. Cue waterworks. Yeah. I made it all the way to the end and the floodgates opened. 

After I read it, I got a few hugs and a few more aaawwws, and then one student said, "Can we go now?" and I laughed. That was it. I was all worried about telling them, and they just wanted to get the heck outta there. I don't blame them, but it really put things in perspective. I had been feeling guilty about leaving them and that school, but they were going to fourth grade with or without me, and God willing, I will have a new group of wonderful personalities to love each and every year for the rest of my career.

Since last Thursday, a lot has transpired, but considering this blog post has already gotten extra long, I'm going to save that for next time. Until then...

Happy Summer!


  1. I'm leaving my school this year, too, and I held it together until we got out to the buses and all the kids piled around me for a big grop hug. I couldn't take it and the tears came running down!! But you are right, the sadness is more on our part, not theirs. They are excited for summer and the next year either way. Glad you made it through the day and hopefully the "other events" are good! :)
    Teaching With Style

  2. Thank you so much for the shout out! I am thrilled that your kiddos liked the hunt so much. That last day goodbye is always so tough. I bawled too. Merry summer vacay. Thanks again!

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  3. Oh that must have been so hard!!! I have been at my school for 11 years and I'm not sure what I would do if I had to teach somewhere else. I think I would be a mess!!! :)
    I just found your blog and am now following! I would love it if you want to stop by and check out my blog sometime!
    Lisen :)

  4. Much like Lisen, I've been at my school for 12 years and I also was a student there from K-12 so I couldn't imagine how hard leaving that school must be for you. With your enthusiasm for teaching, I bet your new school will be thankful and blessed to have you on their staff. I'm following your blog, too, and hope you can stop by my blog sometime.

    Julie aka Southern Teacher

  5. Glad to see that you are doing well! I just started a new blog too :) Still trying to figure it out!


  6. Hi! I'm awarding you the "One Lovely Blog Award"! Check out my blog to claim your award! :)

    Busy Teacher Love

  7. Great blog, I'm your newest follower. Please check out my blog if you have time. Calling Plays in the 2nd grade.