So this evening I was laying in bed reading "Wonder" by RJ Palacio. It's a great story with important life lessons, big questions, and both heart warming and gut wrenching moments throughout. Sooo needless to say, I was a teensy bit emotional. At a moment when I felt incredibly proud of a character (gosh, does that happen in books a lot? Feeling proud of a character?), I stopped reading and students from my class last year flashed through my head.
I thought about how lucky I am to have spent every day with them- these kids that might have a lot going on at home, these kids who will grow up to be real adult people, these kids that grew and matured so much just during the year or two I knew them, these kids that are so special and important to me. And I cried! I am definitely a crier in general, but I was not expecting to feel so emotional just thinking about them. Like I said, the word "lucky" just kept floating to my mind. I am so lucky that I get to spend probably more time with some kids than their parents. I am so lucky that I get to be around them and influence them at such a crucial time in their life- a time when they are figuring out who they are and who they want to be. And I am so lucky that I feel so very lucky to be a teacher.
I can't say for sure, because I haven't felt this feeling any other time in my life, but I have a feeling that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I'm meant to do right now- the right school, the right people, doing a job that is so very important to me.
Today I was up at school helping to coordinate an upcoming event, and outside I saw 4 girls that were in 5th grade last year out front. They had visited the 6th grade center on a very cool "Moving Up!" day, and were waiting to be picked up after the bus dropped them off. We all squealed with excitement when we saw each other- then hugged and caught up on summer and 6th grade and just everything. I was so excited and happy to see them! I think seeing those girls and thinking about all those 5th graders becoming 6th graders so soon just put me in this emotional place!
I hope I get to see more kids from last year, just to check in with them and see how they're doing! And I can't wait to get started with another group of kids- to get to know them, to figure them out, and to create those important relationships.
As I get back into my classroom and school starts back up, I don't want to forget the feelings and emotions I feel right now. Because it's easy to get bogged down in the day to day, in the test scores and data and drama and everything. But I know that's not what's important, and that's not what I (or hopefully the students!) will remember once the year is said and done.
Recently, I've talked to a few friends who said they aren't great at communicating through talking- especially when it comes to emotional stuff. They said they are much better at writing it down- a letter, a journal, whatever. Reflecting on myself, I think I'm the opposite! I'm not much of a writer, honestly. I'd rather tell someone, explain it, use my hands, look them in the eye- it just comes easier for me. So thank you for reading this I guess! I don't often feel compelled to write about my feelings, but tonight, it just seemed right.