Sierra's View: Saying Goodbye to My Babies.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Saying Goodbye to My Babies.

Never mind the fact that my "babies" are feisty 10 year olds. And even though they thought they were 16, they were still so innocent and I loved them like they were my own.
Creeped out yet?
I am talking about my very first students. I know that teachers get attached to their students, and I'm sure I will next year, and the year after that, and five years from now. But there is nothing quite like your very first class as a teacher. I made a relationship with each one of these kids and am forever affected (yes, both positively and negatively!) by their particular personalities, strength, and little spirits. I am two days into summer and I already miss them like crazy. Yes, there were numerous moments where I wanted to personally strangle some of them (is that politically correct? Can I say that?), but I saw each of them grow intellectually, emotionally, and physically from the beginning of the year to the end. 
I watched students who could not stand each other at the beginning of the year, begin to become close friends. I saw teamwork being portrayed on many occasions--them helping each other without me even asking. I saw them become so close, like a family, that it made me proud to say I was their teacher. I laughed my head off as they constantly joked with me about everything. I saw some students who could barely do their times tables, be able to do long division on their own. 
It's a funny thing about being a teacher. I have been waiting for summer break since, well, uh, January to be honest, but now that it is here I notice that my "purpose" has diminished and I sort of don't know what to do with my time. I have spent so many hours in my classroom, planning, prepping, thinking about those students that now summer has arrived, I feel like a little part of me is gone. As cheesy as it sounds, those students were not only my job, but a big part of my life. I don't feel like I am doing anything (and believe me, wedding planning is not boring!). This morning I slept in til 9 (and yes that is early for me. Never mind the fact that I am getting married in 2 months and I can still sleep in til noon most days if you let me). 
I love my job. Even though it has caused me to gain weight (people don't understand that sugar and caffeine is the only thing that gets teachers through the day!) and caused a lot of stress, like most things, anything worth doing in this life is difficult.
 The most difficult part of the year for me was when I said goodbye to my students last week. This was my Facebook status the other day:

"Bawled like a baby as I said goodbye to my students today. Was truly not expecting it to be as difficult as it was--they were my little family! I was particular moved when a little boy whom I have struggled with immensely came running up to me after everyone left, right into my arms, and said, "Miss Ainge, you are my hero. I'm gonna miss you." I can't explain to you the exponential amount of emotion I felt when I heard those words come from a 10 year old boy. Teachers really do change lives! I have the best job in the world. So grateful for the opportunity to teach my feisty, hilarious, intelligent students this year. Can't wait for the next amazing, exciting adventures happening in the next few months! Wedding planning, here I come!"

I don't really know any other way to put it. When that student who I have struggled with immensely came back to me and wouldn't let go as he hugged me, I lost it. I completely lost it. It made me realize that I did help him. Through all those difficult times, I was changing his life. And little did he know, he was changing mine as well. I truly wasn't expecting for it to be so hard to say goodbye. I think it would be easier if I knew that I was going to be at that same school the following year, but because I am moving schools, the goodbye's were a little more permanent, if you will. 
Summer is a bittersweet time for me. I am grateful for the time that I have to get some time to rejuvenate, plan, etc. But I do miss teaching and my students. I do. 
I am grateful for the memories that were formed.
I am grateful for the difficult ones, who taught me patience and understanding.
I am grateful that through those "difficult" ones,  I realized that everyone has a reason for acting why they do. 
I am grateful for the ability to connect with younger people. They teach me so much about life.
I am grateful for learning the purpose of organization: not only in a classroom but in life in general. 
I am grateful for the knowledge that I have formed: about basic subjects in school, the inner workings of children, and the importance of communication. 

via instagram

Here's to a great summer!!!!

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