As I went for my run this morning, I looked up and I wasn’t sure if the sky was reflecting the way I was feeling or, if my mood was reflective of the weather. I found myself with a strange sense of excitement for my plans for the summer and looking ahead to next year, but also a sense of missing my World Lit classes. (They would probably be surprised to hear me say that!) The sky was blue, but the gray clouds were rolling over it…almost as though the sky couldn’t make up its mind either about its feelings.
Another school year has come to an end…this is the completion of my 5th full year of teaching. Normally I would be ecstatic with the whole of summer set before me (along with the meetings I will have to attend, but that’s besides the point), ready with my reading list and my plans for how to improve my class for next year. But for some reason, this school year doesn’t completely feel over to me…and it’s not because we still have graduation next week. No, for some reason I’m not ready to let my seniors go this year. I’m not ready to not have them in my room every day where I can watch them grow (hopefully) and discover their own values and beliefs as we explore other countries and ways of thinking. I’m not ready to not hear their jokes or their stories each day.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my students every year, but this year has been different. This year we have gone through so many ups and downs that my heart has become attached to this group of kids. (See my post “How Can I Teach Like This?” to read about some of the times we faced this year.) The 2015-16 school year allowed me to grow with my students as we headed in to the unknown, as we faced each new day. These students have forced me to become better. They have pushed me to challenge myself and them with what we can accomplish.
My students this year have allowed me to see them at their best and at their worst. I have seen so many of my students grow emotionally and in their thinking (thank you!). I have been pleasantly surprised by how much they have started to embrace their individuality and form their own opinions on ideas greater than just high school. I have seen my students celebrate victories and mourn the loss of friends. I have witnessed friendships form and students struggle to decide what step they want to take next in their lives. But I know that no matter what they face in their lives, they are strong and able to take on anything. I am excited for their futures and I can’t wait to see the people they become!
Congratulations to my World Lit Class of 2016 students! I will see you all at graduation!