Last day of school! Woo hoo!
And trust me, that is exactly what is going through my head right now…..as I chill, relax, sip my wine. I feel like I can breathe again, after days, weeks, months of chasing my tail.
This evening has a feeling like no other. The beginning of my time with my family, where I can switch off (for a little while at least), and just enjoy being a mum.
But this evening is also one of the toughest nights of the year, and when I explain why, I can guarantee that a bzillion other teachers are sitting on their lounges thinking the exact same thing.
You see today was my last day with my kids. No, not my two beautiful offspring…..my other kids. The kids that I spend all day, every day with. The kids that, over the last twelve months, I have cared for, loved, nurtured, soothed, calmed, listened to, mentored, laughed with, cried with….oh, and taught. I have listened to their stories from the weekend, grinning and nodding as they tell me every detail of their Saturday morning soccer victory. I have comforted them after a fight with a friend. I have pretended to be gobsmacked by the rock that they found in the gutter that morning. The rock that they are convinced is the Te Fiti Heart stone from Moana. And I have then wrapped it in a tissue and placed it in a special spot so that no one could touch it.
I have wiped their tears.
I have laughed at their stories.
I have watched as they have grown from a level 5 reader to a level 17. I have watched their writing grow from one sentence to a whole page story. I have panicked when I thought I wasn’t doing enough and I have smiled when they achieved their goals, hoping that I had played some small part in that.
And today, I said goodbye to them.
They’ll still be there next year. I’ll see them on the playground, at assembly and as they walk past my room and up to Year 2. But you see, these kids are no longer mine. Some will stop and say hi. Some will come and curiously wonder who has taken their spot in the classroom. But they will move on.
After spending all day every day with them, I won’t be there when they move up another reading level, or conquer another learning goal, or make a new friend.
I am so proud of them. So eager for them to achieve everything they set out to achieve. I have adored (nearly) every second of having them as my kids.
And that is why tonight, although it’s one of the best nights of the year, is also one of the hardest.