End of Year Goodbyes

Goodbyes for me are always hard for me at the end of the school year. This year feels especially difficult, because I've taught these students for two years, also called "looping." On top of that, because it's fifth grade, there has been lots going on that's made it hard to do typical end of year activities. I know next year I'll need to carve out time for this intentionally, and perhaps start the process earlier. But this year, due to graduation rehearsal, finishing our last writing piece, and end of year assessments, there was very little time for communal closure.

Today was the fifth grade graduation. I was able to say some words to my students during the ceremony, but it was somewhat off the cuff. And deep down, I wish I could have a lengthy conversation with each kid individually. But after the ceremony, many kids disappeared with their families. Our last day tomorrow is a half day, which means many students may not show up. When I think about not being able to say even a simple goodbye, let alone everything I want to say, it gives me a lot of feelings.

What I'm telling myself today is that it will be okay. No goodbye is perfect. I doubt I could articulate everything I want to say to these kids at this point. So I just have to hope that my actions and words and my teaching over the past two yaers said everything I would try to say tomorrow: I love you. I believe you can do anything. I am always here for you no matter what.


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