I started this year with a vision and ended it with a new belief. I started this year by throwing it almost all out, scrappng what I thought were "have to's" in the classroom, discarding rhetoric survived from college, raising my own expectation for eagerness, excitement, genuine learning rather than memorization. I started this year with many ideas. Not my students. They started this year being excited about being 4th graders, bummed about losing their third recess, but pumped that the chairs and desks were bigger. Some were even interested in what we would learn in 4th grade, but none of them knew what to expect. Neither did I to tell you the truth.
So these kids that have been my partners in learning, these kids that have believed in our journey together are now ready to leave me. They are ready for new challenges, new jokes, new routines and expectations. They are ready to decompress, breathe a little bit, and just be kids in the summer heat. I pretend to be ready to let them go, I know it is their time, but it is still hard to lose the label of "my kids." The journey we have been on has been so incredible, so beyond expectations, that I wonder if this is it? Is this the year I will always try to emulate? Or did I really stumble upon something within myself? Did I create a new teacher where then old me once stood? Will my vision survive the next year?
I started this year with a vision and I was lucky enough to have kids that believed in it too. Now they get to leave with our vision of what learning should feel like, and I am left behind, alone, but so, so proud. These kids - they will change the world some day.