I have just said goodbye to my students. We have spent more or less everyday together for three years. I am not sure I have actually taught them anything subject-wise, perhaps they’ve learned the important things; to be kind, to show respect, to listen and not judge. I hope so. I know that they have taught me a lot; respect, patience, to listen. I held my speech in the auditorium and I managed not to cry. We handed out grades afterwards and said our goodbyes. The queue of students who wanted to hug were long. I lost it when one of my “special boys” came over. I’ve spent a lot of time in meetings with this one and his parents. There was even a time when I had to go to his house and give lessons with his mother in the next room. And this was goodbye, and we both cried our eyes out. And that quiet girl who has come out of her shell at the end. It took her three years, and then it was time to say goodbye. And we both cried like babies. And that silent boy who almost never laugh at my (very funny) jokes. He walked away from school today, turned around and came back and hugged me and cried. And so did I, a lot. And my nice, nice girls who have helped out so much during this last year, who have thrown me surprise birthday parties in the classroom, who think they can’t manage without me, but they can, they are so ready and they will all become something great! We all cried. And my “Mr Negativity” who has driven me crazy with all his comments about how everything I do suck and how my lessons suck. He cried. He gave me flowers and chocolate and said he’d be back at least once every semester. I am going to miss him like crazy! And I cried.
There’s nothing simple about today. But there is so much joy. And sadness. All mixed into one.
The perks of being a teacher.