It's so hard to believe that my first year is just about over. This week, exactly one year ago, I walked in to a school I'd never been to before. I went in with the thoughts that I had no chance of getting a job there....I hadn't managed to find a job anywhere else. I met a principal and assistant principal that were enthusiastic and interested in what I had to say, the ideas I had. I met a 4th grade teacher that welcomed me, showed me around, gave me a taste of what it would be like teaching there. And, then I got to hear words I never thought I'd get to hear.. I'd basically given up on it... "We'd like to offer you a position".
It just seems so surreal that so much has happened since this week one year ago. Moving in to my new classroom, meeting my new students for the first time, wondering when the moment would come where I would panic and cry and overload myself...that never came by the way. Each day has been a new challenge, a new opportunity, a new experience. I've made new friends, became part of a team, felt wanted and accepted for who I am. I made it!
Tonight, I will be attending the 8th grade graduation. A group of kids that I never got to teach, really haven't had the chance to spend a lot of time with. Yet, in this past year, I've managed to get to know a few of them. Exactly one year ago this week, they knew that after the summer they'd be entering their last year as junior high kids before heading off to high school, just as I was realizing I'd be getting my first year in their school.
As excited as I am for ending this week out strong, I know that it will be so hard on me. My first group of kiddos are leaving me. Our time together is almost over. I wonder if I've had enough time to show them how much they mean to me, how much I care for them. I wonder if they'll walk out of my classroom knowing the impact they have made on my life. I wonder if they'll understand why this year has been so special and all the wonderful things they've taught me when I should have been the one teaching them.
Tomorrow is the end of the year awards ceremony. I have to get up and hand out my awards. I know I will cry. The person that hardly cries for anything will stand in front of the entire school and bawl like a baby. I just know it. I plan on saying a few words about how important this year has been for me, how wonderful it's been getting to know all of them...well, I'll try.
Thankfully, I'll have some support there with me today and tomorrow. My brother is coming to spend the day with me today and my sister will be there with me tomorrow. They've been dying to see where I teach, where the kids go to school, and what's so great about our school. I can't wait to show them. It will be so nice to finally let them see why I talk non stop about my job and our school and all of the wonderfulness that comes from it.
But, right now, I need to go and get ready. It's that time. It's going to be a long day, but I'm ready for it.