Saturday, June 9, 2012
A Proper Farewell
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?