I wasn’t done yet.
They haven’t learned how to multiply and divide fractions yet.
They haven’t learned about about supply and demand, goods and services, taxes, or loans.
They didn’t get to learn about what conjunctions are or how to use commas properly.
They didn’t get to take their spring statewide assessments.
And yet…I didn’t think about any of those things when I heard the announcement about school closing.
We didn’t get to say goodbye.
We didn’t get to exchange hugs.
We didn’t sign yearbooks.
We didn’t celebrate 5th grade field day.
We didn’t watch our end of the year slideshow.
We don’t get to play anymore intense games of silent ball.
We don’t get to laugh as a class again.
We don’t get to talk about our weekends, or what we’re anxious about for middle school, or what we’re doing this summer.
We don’t get to ‘finish’ what we started on day 1: building a family in room 402.
Yes, we will always be connected by the experiences and memories we were able to make, but it just doesn’t seem fair.
I have to remind myself everyday – this situation feels unfair to everyone; it’s not just me that’s affected.
But I think I’m speaking for most teachers when I say, this is a version of true heartbreak that will take a while to heal from. Even on the days when I wake up on the absolute worst side of the bed, no one listens to my directions, I forget my lunch, I get a flat tire, the dog chews up a shoe, and I burn dinner, those 23 faces that greet me every morning are what give me purpose and fulfillment in my career and life. I love each and every one of them, and I would take any of them home with me if needed.
I cannot imagine a profession that even comes close to what I get to do each day – even though it’s really damn hard sometimes.
Mostly I want to say thank you to my students this year.
Thank you for all of the love. Thank you for loving each other – even though we didn’t always like each other. Thank you for teaching me about Tik Tok (gotta do my best to keep the ‘cool teacher’ reputation). Thank you for making me laugh everyday. Thank you for convincing me that sometimes silent ball or extra recess really is more important than writing…but only sometimes. Thank you for working hard. Thank you for doing your best. Thank you for making me a better teacher and person.
And let’s face it, even if we’d had a full school year – I still wouldn’t have been finished with you. I’m not great at goodbyes…or even ‘see you later’s.
Once you’re one of my kids, you’re my kid forever. Sorry not sorry 🙂
Love, Mrs. Elmer