It IS All About the Kids

Yesterday was the last day of school for this year.  On one hand, I was completely ready for it to be over.  I was physically and emotionally exhausted, as well as at my wit’s end with a couple of students.  I needed time to reflect so I could get better, because I felt we’d become quite stagnant in our learning environment.  However, I wasn’t really ready for the students to move on.  You see, I liked my students A LOT. In many ways, I felt like I was handed this fantastic, amazing class that COULD have done ANYTHING, and that I squandered it.  In many ways, I don’t feel that I pushed them hard enough.  I wonder if it’s common to think you failed your class…

I think the greatest reason that teachers STAY in teaching despite the many obstacles, is when you get a note letting you know that, despite what you think, you weren’t so bad after all.  I didn’t get a lot of end of the year gifts (OK, THAT made me sad, but then I always talk about the importance of PEOPLE over POSSESSIONS so I think I create this outcome.  Plus, I’m not warm and fuzzy), but I did get some cards.  I’m sharing them because they will remind me of WHY this job is so important.

Dear Mrs. Wynnell,

You are a very exciting, hilarious teacher.  I will always remember you and your stories.  You made learning fun, which most teachers don’t do.  You always helped us when we needed it and you never gave up on us.  Thanks again.  Sincerely.

This card was hand-made.  It was an apple with a pencil.

Dear Mrs. Wynnell,

I enjoyed being in your class this year.  I hope you have a very wonderful summer.  Thank you so much for making this year a great one for me. Sincerely.

This one was a series of little comments.  It was so touching because I didn’t think I connected very well with this student.

Thank you for everything.  You taught me a lot of great things.  I love you!  I hope to see you in 7th grade. Have an amazing summer.  You’ve taught me more than usual.  You know what I mean. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more stories about your AMAZING family.

This one is from one of my favorite students, but she doesn’t know it.  She thinks I’ve been hard on her for no reason.  Not that she’s super special and so capable.  It always killed me a little bit to be harsh to her because of how much I enjoyed her.  I was so happy to get a note because I seriously thought I’d ruined what small sweet relationship we had.  Maybe I did and her parents MADE her write the card. LOL.

Dear Mrs. Wynnell,

Thank you for the great school year!  I learned a lot this year in your class.  I hope I see you next year.  And we can still stay in touch on Facebook!  I also hope you have a great summer with Keb and Taed!  Sincerely.

I also had students tell me yesterday that I understood them the way other teachers didn’t.  I don’t know that I did anything differently.  I do know that I want to continue having that kind of classroom environment in the future.  I’m sure that connecting with my students is part of what made them so amazingly special to me.  Sure, I worry about what I taught them, but at least these cards and the comments on Facebook tell me that I honored who they were as people.

At the end of the day, it really IS all about the kids.

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3 thoughts on “It IS All About the Kids

  1. Ed Maxwell says:

    You did an outstanding job! And I’m not just saying that. You had our two kids on back to back years. I wish I could have had you as a sixth grade teacher when I was a kid. You are real and you don’t treat the kids like, well… kids.

    Our kids will remember you forever, and you taught them so much (about everything, school stuff, and non school stuff). That is why you are an excellent teacher.

    Take care and have a nice summer. We are out of Maxwells to send your way, but if there was another, we would be requesting you as the teacher!

    Ed

  2. Suzanne says:

    Thank you. Your sons are wonderful kids to have. It was truly an honor.

  3. justaglimpse says:

    I wish that I had felt this way this year. I felt this way about each of the kids individually, but not the class as a whole. Sometimes the combination just doesn’t work.

    I had a parent come crying to me on the last day. That made me feel good. 🙂

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