Saying goodbye to a class at the end of the year is similar to a break up. Some years it is a release. You end the year with wonderful memories, knowing that it is time for everyone to move on. Everyone's grown and progressed and it's time for new adventures. You knew it was coming, you were prepared, you said your goodbyes and made amends with the inevitable. You'll still remain friends and you know the break is best for everyone involved.
Then there are the years that leave you with a sense of absolute sorrow and loss. You knew it was coming but you didn't really process what had to happen. It was such a good relationship- so much was right. You just thought it could last forever. Months after the break happens you still find yourself wistfully wondering what they are up to, waking up from a dream about them and then suddenly realizing it was just a dream, nothing more, you won't be going in to see them today. Wondering if they are thinking about you too, and if they would think you were absolutely crazy if you called them. No, don't call- put down the phone- everyone needs to move on.
This year was one of those years. I must think about those little ones everyday. Every time I hear "I've got a feeling" (which is a lot because the CD is stuck in my CD player) I am immediately transferred back to my classroom where I am laughing at their fabulous dancing skills. Rain makes me think of the day we had such a dramatic and scary thunderstorm that we all sat around the window talking about what the rain looked like and then we made rain tear-art pictures so we can use our nervous energy to tear paper into tiny pieces. Books I read to Little Lipstick make me wonder what Magical and Rock Star would say about the story. I plan lessons for them before I realize that I won't be teaching them again. I stumble across an empty container and think "this will be perfect for Brown Bear to store his puzzle pieces in!"
I'm a summer-time mess.
Seeing Magical once a week helps some. Seeing him happy, adjusting to his summer school class, moving on. It's time for me to do the same.
It's a good place to be, saying goodbye to an amazing class. But like all break ups, I am going to need to come to terms with my loss so that I am able to welcome another class with open arms. I need to make sure that the next batch of children isn't just a re-bound class, but an absolutely true class. Hmmmm, maybe I need to go round up some kids on the playground and have a mini-class one morning just so I can have my re-bound class and be ready to move on.
As the weeks go on I can feel my sadness beginning to transfer into nervous energy. I'm terrified of starting the new school, but excited. Give me a few more weeks and I'll be chomping at the bit to get back into the game. Bring me your new students, bring me the challenges, let's get this party started.