It is a staggering moment when you realize that so much of your class community may have been built around one dynamic personality. These kids are so young, but as a group they are still completely capable of forming their own functioning family, where each personality finds its spot interwoven with everyone else.
One of my friends is out for what will most likely be a long time. Last Wednesday was her last day. On Friday one girl kept repeating, "maybe she'll be back in ten minutes, ok?" While another non-verbal boy kept going to our friend's picture and moaning.
Today was more of the same. Nothing feels right. We're just off.
Our missing friend isn't always the best behaved. In fact, I probably have some premature gray hair thanks to her antics this year. In the moment it is easy to get frustrated with kids like her- the ones with busy hands and never ending questions. The ones who need what feels like a hundred reminders to follow a simple direction. Yet all those irritating moments- the reminders, the redirection, the teacher deep breathes where you remind yourself that you are an adult- it is all worth it for the awesome kid you get to teach. It can be hard to see it in the moment but stepping back makes us appreciate just how great these kids are.
I want nothing more than to have those busy hands back so that our class can get back to its normal state.