Yesterday, I said goodbye to my second class of 8th graders. Last year, I couldn’t get them out the door fast enough, but the class that transitioned yesterday, well, I wish I had another year with them. They are amazing kids and I watched them bounce out the door with their smiles, fully knowing that I have done everything I could do to prepare them for the world.
This time last year, I had a lot of conflict within myself. I felt as though I had not prepared my 8th graders for the world, that there was so much they needed to know and I didn’t trust that someone else would teach them. This year, I am at peace. My 8th graders all have goals for their ACT scores, GPA’s, and class rank. They all know where they are going to college and the AP classes that they must take. More than many high school juniors and seniors, they know what a FAFSA is, how to fill it out, and what they will need to do so. I can sleep well at night knowing that I gave all that I have with that class. This doesn’t mean I won’t shed tears thinking about them or check my teacher Facebook account hoping that they appear to be doing well.
I am glad that I have decided to teach for the next three years as it will enable me to be able to watch them grow into mature, young adults. I will be able to see their successes and be there to support them when they need to recover from a failure. I feel very blessed that I had the opportunity to teach these students. We had so many wonderful memories and along the way, they taught me just as much as I tried to teach them.