This week I put my 10th group of students on the buses for the last time. 10 years.
5 grade levels.
In some ways, year 10 was like the previous 9. Sweet children that could make me laugh one minute and crazy the next. Such great personalities that make their frustrating moments just melt away with a simple look or hug. Personalities that even when they were making you mad, you had to turn away so they wouldn't see you smile or laugh at the cuteness of them. Children you could scoop up and hug, cuddle on your lap, or just dance/flip/spin around. Just as the years before, there were the one or two that were so unique, its easy to impersonate them. I wish I could show them to you but I still have too much public school teacher in me to put their photos online. Take my word for it, they're cute. And sweet. I'll miss them.
As much as every year is about the kids, for me, this year was extremely different in one regard. This year was more defined by the adults. Despite being team leader in the past and working with teachers in various positions, this year was a whole new experience. It stretched me farther than I've been stretched before in every way possible. There were days I wanted to walk into the office and quit this part of my job. There were days that I really could not have been more proud. I think my favorite aspect of team leader was working with one particular teacher. She came in last year as a first year teacher with no training. This year, I got a front row seat to watch her become one of our strongest teachers. She outshined me on so many days and I'm so honored I got to witness it. She is the reason why I'm pursuing the master's program I have chosen.
And can I take a moment to brag on these two women?
These are the faces of my sanity this year - Tessa and Marian. They laughed with me, advised me, dried tears, and listened. They watched every moment of the year and stood by me every step of the way. Whether it was a funny moment with our kids, getting stuff done, laughing, or just helping me remember what I was supposed to do next, they were my rock and my friends. I don't have a work picture with Angie and Randee but these girls joined us for lunch each day and were a much needed break. They were a breath of fresh air every single day. These four women made my work days possible.
A few years ago I went through a phase in which I prayed that teaching would be a ten year career for me. In August I start year eleven. It will be in a new grade level with a new team and new administration. I am so excited! There are things I will miss about Early Childhood and kindergarten but I can't wait for the year ahead. Well, I can wait about two months......