I always hate the end of the year. Especially saying goodbye. The kids are not into that sort of thing. Some were angry today because they had to finish some presentations. Others were busy saying good bye to their own friends whom they will not be moving on with to High School, and didn't want to be bothered with anything else. It was a mixed bag. I also had some students ask to come and spend more time with me. I should have let them come, but the classroom was full. I was going to have them later anyway. Then I had those students who were so happy to tell me "Ms. Vazquez, I won't have to go to summer school!" and I shared their joy. Then I had that quiet student, who waited for everyone to leave so he could come and give me a big hug! It makes me cry just to remember seeing him bound across the room. Then there was a student named Josey (not her real name of course) who asked to come to my class and help me. She spent the period going over some brochures. When she gave her presentation earlier in the day, I stopped the presentation just to ask her how long she had been in the United States? (I knew the answer, of course.) I did so because she had read a paragraph in English and she did it very well. So when she softly answered, "One year, " all the other kids applauded realizing all the effort she had put in. I also added, how far she had come in this one year in the United States, and told her how proud I was of her, too. Later she came back just to help out. I think she just wanted to spend a little bit more time with me. It was sweet.
Josey was in fact one of many who helped me today to sort papers, recycle others, clear off bulletin boards, pack boxes, remove staples from the wall, and empty cabinets. There were so many. I am so thankful. The day flew by.
I did do the cookie coupon thing but instead of cookies I gave them Brownies... or at least that was my intention because it turned out that they ran out of Brownies and instead sent me a bagful of other goodies that my students gobbled down. All in all it was a good day but you just don't want to say goodbye. But I did, and it was bittersweet.
I have to add this... there was one particular student who was especially kind to me all year and super helpful, and when he was coming back from lunch I stopped him and told him how much I had appreciated him in my class. He was so helpful he often got in the way which was amusingly annoying but I am so glad I told him. He smiled. No he didn't just smile, he beamed. So did Josey, now that i think about it.
And now I smile knowing I did the right thing, too!