I suppose I knew this day would come. I knew it would happen when I started the job. I was talking to a co-worker who's been here for a while, and they said after a while, you just have to stop getting attached to the kids, you have to stop falling in love with them...
Because eventually they leave. And you can't do that to yourself over and over again, developing close friendships with these little souls and then they leave and take bits of your heart with them.
And today is that day. My class of 21 has slowly decreased to a class of 11, then to a class of 6, and today, a class of 3.
And tomorrow it'll be a class of 0.
There will still be two little ones left, but you can't have one teacher in one classroom for two kids, that's just a waste of pay, really. I'll be in the same class as the little ones, but they won't really be my little ones anymore.
So I've just been enjoying today, really.
A was playing with my arm outside, lifting it up and looking at my armpit and laughing her head off.
"My mom's armpit looks like yours!"
"Well no, her armpit has hair in it."
Other observations she made on my armpit:
"It looks like cookie dough!"
*Giggling* "What IS that anyways!"
D isn't leaving, but I never pass up a chance to talk to him.
"How are you D?"
We sat quietly for a while, then he got really upset.
"Stop saying that, Ms Lara!"
"That! Stop saying that!"
"What am I saying?"
He mumbled something that sounded like "Badger."
"Badger?" I said.
"Yeeeeeesss stop saying that!!!"
"Wh-what? Why? Badger?"
"You're a Badger, D."
"Don't say that!!!"
"Why don't you like me to call you Badger?"
"Badger's are bad! They're chipmunks!"
Well, a little one named B came in and gave me a note this morning. A little picture. And her tiny little hand writing.
"Dear miss Lara You've been a very good teacher and your the best teacher in the whole wide world miss Lara. Love B.
I hope you will have a great life. I will miss you forever when im not with you."
I'm still holding on to the idea that maybe I'll see some of these kids again, but chances are I won't. Chances are, by the time I finally finish school and get my teaching license, they'll all be teachers of their own, like a few of them want to. Or doctors, or dancers, or roller coaster builders. So saying goodbye is hard. Knowing I won't see them tomorrow is hard. Trying to be a teacher to the new children while I'm missing these ones so much will be hard. But it's something I'll have to do. It's something I signed up for when I started teaching. I'll probably cry today. I'll probably have lots of days as a teacher where I cry. Because teaching is hard. You get your feelings hurt more than you'd care to admit. You hurt when they hurt. More than anything, you laugh when they laugh, and when that laughing is gone you wonder how you can laugh again. But you will laugh again. And again. And you'll cry lots too, but just remember the laughing.
You have to.