Saturday, December 20, 2008

Goodbyes, Hellos and Welcome Backs

I've never been good at goodbyes. I remember bawling my eyes out as a 4 year old when it was time to leave my grandmother's house! It's been much the same all through my life, but I've found different ways to deal with it. These days I don't bawl my eyes out (which was probably healthy really!!!) instead, I deny the inevitable for as long as possible. I've got so good at denial these days that I can almost avoid the feeling of loss completely! I just tell myself that I'm bound to see these people again some day and avoid that thought that this might be it.

Because of this crazy game I play, I always find the final couple of weeks of the school year very stressful. I keep on teaching like the year isn't ending up until it really IS ending and then I have a frantic rush to send home work, clean the classroom and make cards and gifts for all the kids. The last thing I always seem to be doing on the last day of the school year, is shredding. I stand at the shredder with the massive pile of assessment, notes and personal records and shred. And that's the final goodbye to a year of teaching.

Paired with goodbyes are usually 'hellos' or as is often the case for me 'welcome backs'. The excitement of these mingles with the sadness of goodbyes to make a crazy emotional cocktail.

So, to those of you who have said 'goodbye' to me or 'welcome back' and didn't get the sort of response you expect at that time, I'm sorry.

To those at the school I am leaving: I've had an amazing year. I've worked with a brilliant teaching team and learnt so much from working with them. I've enjoyed the time I've had to explore new ideas with my class - to play and learn with the kids on a daily basis. The kids have definitely kept me on my toes with their energy and enthusiasm. It was great to get to know the parents of the kids I teach this year and see new ways to improve communication between home and school. (Thank you so much for your generous end of year gift!) I've had a very supportive executive staff who were willing to send me on any PD that I could benefit from. The staff as a whole has been friendly and supportive.

And to those at my 'new' school (which is actually my 'older' school): I'm looking forward to being back with you all. I'm keen for the challenge of Year 4 and can't wait to start working with the kids I had to say 'goodbye' to when I went to New York City for a year! I'm so excited to get a second chance with you.

So... maybe we don't actually have to say 'goodbye' after all.

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