I did it.
I made it through 8 weeks of teaching grade 7… and I can’t believe it’s over. I just reread some of the posts I wrote in February when I was just starting out, and while the exhaustion is still there, somehow over the past few weeks they completely won me over and I loved my class.
Thursday was my last day with my little grade 7’s, and they were so sweet. They were well-behaved and on task all morning. We spent spent a period in the computer lab trying to finish up a podcast assignment we have been working on, and as they finished they were to head back to our classroom to begin silent reading as we transitioned into Language Arts. I stayed to the end to make sure that the lab was tidy and sent my AT back to the class with the kids so they would be supervised.
I expected to walk into the classroom to find them sitting quietly at their desks reading (which is what they normally do) but as I opened the door I was met with a loud “SURPRISE!!!!!!!” and a shower of confetti. As I tried to figure out what was going on I saw that the whole room was decorated with streamers, balloons and “We will miss you!!” signs. The entire class huddled at the front of the room holding a massive red “THANK YOU” card with cake, chips and cupcakes nearby.
…I had no words. I had already determined that morning that I was not going to cry under any circumstances, but they really pushed me there. haha! They all crowded around me while I read the beautiful card (made by hand) that had been signed by every student in all three of my classes as well as the entire Intermediate staff. The cupcakes I had brought to say goodbye to my students suddenly seemed horribly inadequate by comparison… it was obvious they had spent several days planning this. I was so touched. :)
Want to know what the best part was? As a teacher I am constantly wondering if I’m getting through to all my students… several of my students have hard or complicated home lives that sometimes filter into the classroom. There is one student in my class that I wasn’t sure if I had ever connected with in my 2 months as her teacher. She struggles with a lot of outside issues and I think has some problems connecting to adults. I felt badly that I hadn’t been able to “bond” with her like I had many of my other students… even though I consistently put forth effort to try and make that connection.
After we had had our little party and my AT and I were cleaning up a bit, she mentioned to me that she had had absolutely no part in planning any aspect of the party. The students planned, decorated, made the card and baked the cakes. She supervised, but the entire thing was organized by my kids. And this student I thought I hadn’t connected with was chief party planner–she initiated everything so she could say goodbye to me. I was so glad to know that for at least 2 months I had been able to get through to her a little bit and she recognized that. I couldn’t have asked for more.
And now I can’t believe it’s all over. I still have 7 days of placement left, but they will be up in the high school teaching grade 10 and 12. It was all I wanted when I first started placement, and now I’d love to be able to stay just a bit longer in grade 7… it went so fast. I can’t even remember the moment when it all clicked and I fell in love with teaching intermediate despite it’s challenges and unbelievable amount of work. My AT was amazing. My class was fantastic. I learned SO much.
I can’t believe I ever questioned whether I should be a teacher… I have the best job.