Thursday, May 13, 2010
It's already beginning. This morning, while practicing our songs for the end of the year celebration performance, I looked out at my kids and felt my eyes well up with tears. I looked at them through different eyes today, realizing how little time we have left together. With only 19 school days left, and with me about to embark on a new journey at a different school, I suddenly felt overwhelmed. I realized that while normally I have the wonderful privilege of getting hugs and visits from former students, I won't have that with these adorable little guys. They keep saying how they just want to stay in kindergarten with me, "I don't want to gwaduate, I just want to stay with you," and when I tell them how they will love first grade they then leap to, "Well, we can visit you right?" I somehow nod and realize that I need to tell them soon, but when? and how? Then today, M. randomly asks me, "Mrs. Young, my brother will be in your class when he's in kindergarten, right?" Somehow I mutter a soft "I don't know" and luckily she leaves the topic alone. (Her mother, by the way, already knows the news;the day I told her she told me she would go home and cry for her son.)
So, how do I tell them that I won't be here next year for a high five or a hug on the playground? Surely I can't be that important anyway, right? I know it may seem strange, but in Kindergarten we grow strong attachments as we make our way through milestones like turning 5, losing our first teeth and learning to read!
Today I told their parents about my plans in our weekly newsletter. I mentioned that I would be telling the kids after our assessments are over. I suppose I will need to tell them sooner. I had planned on waiting until there were about 2 weeks of school left, but I don't want to lie about next year. I didn't realize how much they would be planning ahead, thinking of how they will stop by and "surprise me."
I am trying to savor these last moments with them; doing assessments each day and watching their beaming faces as they proudly pass reading levels. I am staying in the moment, recording the funny things they say and celebrating the amazing discoveries they make.
Teaching kindergarten is certainly not for the faint-hearted, and I am surely going to miss it. If you have any thoughts on the best way to share my news with my kids, please leave a comment.