|These kids though.|
“Miss Anie! Miss Anie!” exclaimed the several students approaching me all at once, folders and pens in their hands.
I gave them ‘the look’ and without further prompting, the kids formed a line and one by one, clearance forms were being handed to me. I cramped my fingers up, clenched a pen and in slanted cursive, I signed my initials, N.G.O, that looked everything less than a scribble.
Last day of school always takes me back to the beginning of the school year and wave of nostalgia sweeps over me without delay. Emotions, primal and pure, almost naïve, were all too distinct and though the classic INTP in me safely packed it away, it was there and it was strong.
I look back at the stressful moments this school year with great fondness and thought about the many ‘firsts’ I had the opportunity to do while in a non-teaching post, one that toughened my skin as an individual and allowed me to grow as an educator. It was a challenging ride no doubt, but it was also something I truly relished; the highs, the lows and everything in between. Already, my mind is thinking about the next academic year, getting thrilled at the thought of new learning and new plans but somewhere along that great anticipation, there’s a hint of sadness because just like every single year, last day of school also involves a lot of goodbyes.
There’s an assumption that teachers can’t seem to wait to kick their students out the door fast enough as soon as March rolls around so we can finally plunge in to our two months off for summer and hit the beach. If people only knew.
Of course we are ready to let our students go but not because we want to get rid of them. We are ready to let them go because we know that they are more than ready to meet the next challenge ahead of them. This goes out to our preschool and elementary graduates who are set to move to bigger schools next school year and to our effervescent, over-the-top animated, dear 10th graders who will embark on a quest called college. We will stand behind a podium on Friday to call out their names, watch them receive their diplomas and walk out of our lives. It hurts to see one chapter ends but at the same time, it is exciting to see a new one starts because it should. I’d be worried if it didn’t. I just hope that somewhere, deep inside, they will carry the things they learned in HFLC when they were put in an environment in which they have to practice respect, obedience, solidarity, perseverance, excellence, kindness, among others. I pray that all those moments we insisted on empathy, commitment, teamwork and passion would forever be engraved in their hearts. If they can pass the very same values to the next person who comes along in their life someday, that would really be awesome too.
The school will miss all of them. More surprisingly, I WILL MISS ALL OF THEM.