Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Proper Farewell

We have a lovely tradition on our last day of school.

Since our school is K - 5, we get ready to say goodbye to our fifth graders. Just before it's time to leave, all K - 4 students and teachers line the hallways.  We do collect quite a few parents as well.  When everyone is in place, the fifth grade teachers walk their students down the hall for the very last time.  We give them plenty of applause.  After all, they worked hard for their 6 years at our school, they deserve the applause.  Many are emotional.  They know this is a place where they were loved.  Who knows what will happen when they get to middle school?

After the fifth graders have made their final walk, all the other classes walk down the hallway for the final time of the year.  Everyone goes out to wave goodbye.  None of the buses leave until everyone is ready.  The children hang out the window waving, many are crying.  They are chanting all the naughty chants they know they shouldn't do, but can get away with on the last day.  Finally, the buses start to drive away, with the bus drivers beeping, the kids chanting, the teachers waving.  It's a little crazy, but it's definitely a happy/ sad/ sentimental time for us all!

I've been teaching in this school for 27 years now, and we've had our "Grade Five Send Off" for close to 20 of those years.  I can honestly say I haven't had one "Grade Five Send Off" where I wasn't in tears.

One nice thing about being a teacher in the lower grades is that you get to watch the kids grow up, even when they are no longer in your class. By the time they make that final walk down the hall, most of them are taller than I am, and have grown in many ways!  It's hard to say goodbye.

I also find it's hard to say goodbye to their families as well.  After all, by the end of 5th grade, I've known them for 4 years! If I've had siblings, I've known them longer than that!

I'm lucky to work where I work!

What's your last day of school like?

4 comments:

  1. We did that same thing at my elementary school when I grew up. We went to 6th grade and it was a very emotional day. A few girls would get flowers and we all dressed up to walk. It's such a good memory.

    Sarah
    Teachingiscolorful.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Our school is K-5 also and we have never thought to do the send off for our 5th graders. What a great idea!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Our school is a K-3 building. The 3rd grade teachers walk the students out and wave good-bye to the buses. I love the idea of the other students lining the hallways for this sendoff! I think this is something to do! Thank you so much for this great idea!

    ReplyDelete
  4. We do the same at my school. We normally do the walk right before 5th grade graduation, and they end their walk at the gym; however, this year, we are having to hold graduation a day earlier. I think watching the buses leave is the most emotional time!

    Leslie
    Miss R's Room

    ReplyDelete

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