Seven years ago, I said goodbye to the classroom and stepped into the role of literacy specialist. This position challenges me every day and has allowed me to grow as an educator in ways I could not have imagined.
But I miss being a classroom teacher. I miss the hum of a classroom hard at work. I miss those moments when a hush falls over the room because we are all mesmerized by the final pages of our read aloud. I miss listening to young writers share their heart-felt stories. I miss seeing the joy on a child’s face when she sees a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis, or the furrowed brow of a child who is determined to solve a math problem. I miss a child trusting me so much and feeling so comfortable with me that he says “mom” when he has a question.
My last first grade class will graduate from eighth grade later this week. I have loved watching them grow into caring, capable young adults, but not as much as I loved spending one precious year with them.
Being their first grade teacher was a privilege I am thankful to have had. As they head off to high school, I hope they have the courage and opportunity to follow their dreams. I wish them love and joy and happiness in the years ahead.
Godspeed, my young friends.
Thank you, as always, to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, and Beth for hosting Slice of Life each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.
9 thoughts on “Slice of Life: My Last Class”
Wow, what a beautiful, caring heart you have. Those students can’t miss having had you as their first grade teacher.
It’s lovely to read about your special class, Catherine. Being the last ones holds an important place, doesn’t it? I know what you mean about having a class, & it was fun the last two months this year to work so closely with one class, “almost” like having my own.
Congrats on your 200th post, as well as your students’ milestone. My last class from NY is graduating from high school this month. It is wonderful to celebrate their accomplishments with them, even if it is from afar.
So much love here Catherine. Funny I just left my class less than two weeks ago and I miss them. I’ve thought about the possibility of leaving the classroom and I have stopped myself because of all the things you say so beautifully here. But, I know that what you are doing now has grown you, and has grown so many others. You effect is far beyond one classroom. And so many are growing because of it.
Relationships are what it is all about and this line shows that you truly do that so well,
“I miss a child trusting me so much and feeling so comfortable with me that he says “mom” Congratulations on being a part of raising up amazing children. I am still in the classroom working 1 day a week as a literacy coach, sometimes I am torn but today, after reading your post I am happy to stay put for a little while longer. Enjoy your summer.
I know exactly what you mean. The classroom is magic…but what you do now allows teachers to develop that magic. You are still part of that great web of learning and being and discovering.
I know how you feel. My last class I taught is long gone from our building now, and I miss that classroom connection so much.
My first class since moving to my current district graduated from high school. I had them as kindergarten students and it has been a delight to hear all they have accomplished. I loved hearing your memories of your class now heading to high school.
I have to say I had a few pangs as I read about your feelings of leaving the classroom. Your writing so clearly captured the picture and feeling of a classroom that I felt like I was right there. I’m leaving the classroom next year to work as a primary reading intervention teacher. I’m very worried about missing the community, reading aloud, and getting to know a group of students. I’m trying to think of the larger community I will be a part of and the number of kids I will get to work with across classrooms.
How do they grow so fast? I love the description of what you miss about being in the classroom. Beautiful words. Congratulations on your 200th post!