This is the time of year when we can see the benchmarks we have met and the progress we have made. This is the time of year when we’ve met all the deadlines and squeezed in all of the objectives. As EOC and state testing wraps up each spring, we have a little more flexibility in our school day. This is the time of year that most teachers live for--we save our best selves for this season. This is the time of year when we shine.
This is the time of year when we take a moment with our students and just have fun---because we’ve earned it. Spring is the season for field trips, popsicle parties, picnic lunches, and other extra special fun activities that we save for the end because we want our students to leave our classes with a feeling---a memory of a feeling---that will stay with them for their entire lives.
We want them to remember that even if they didn’t master all of the ‘learning’ requirements, then maybe we made them feel special--and sometimes it takes all year to get to that good place---for some kids, this is the best part of the school year because it is the most fun and we live for that joy. We know that we are connected to these kids forever. There is something incredibly special about the relationship between a student and a teacher, and if you’ve had a great teacher, then you know what I’m talking about.
Parents, when teachers say that they miss their students, when we tell you that we miss your kids (the ones that you’ve been cooped up with for weeks!), I hope you know how sincerely we are grieving over the loss of this time. This is a season we will never get back. As educators, we’ve prepared our entire lives/careers to be in the school cycle--we HAVE to have closure at the end of the school year...this isn’t just an extended vacation for us, it is a great loss….we love your kids and it is painful to transition online because we can’t make a feeling digital. When we say we love teaching, THIS is the time of year we love.
Being a teacher is who I am, but facilitating an online class isn’t what I signed up for. It's all the other stuff, the memories, the fun, the good times, the celebrations. If you are struggling with online learning, getting into a routine or just all that ‘togetherness’, just know that teachers are struggling with the separation. I can speak for my teacher friends when I say, “give your kids a hug” from their teachers. We love and miss them.
Teachers everywhere are grieving right now, because we know that we might've missed an opportunity to make an essential connection with a student. We know that timing, classroom environment and relationships can align in April, unlike any other time of the year. We know that kids sometimes get a little unruly in the last few weeks because they need the balance and routine that they ONLY get at school.
I know that I might have missed the one chance I had to make a difference for the one kid that needed it the most and that makes me absolutely heartbroken. I know that we will get back to normal some day and this is only temporary, but I am sad about this season, this year and the missed opportunities to develop a fond love of learning and school.