It’s the end of the school year, and I can’t stop crying.
So many firsts, and so many things to be sad about.
In 18 years of teaching music, this is the first time I’m not swamped with rehearsals for kindergarten and fifth grade end-of-the-year programs.
For the first time I’m not counting down the days until summer break.
For the first time I’m not looking for all the ways I can scrap my lessons and take my students outside.
For the first time I’m not trying to make flip-flops look professional with my work clothes.
For the first time I’m not waiting for the fifth graders to finally go to middle school so I don’t have to deal with their attitudes.
For the first time I’m not taking down as many decorations in my room as I can so that I look like I’m still engaged in teaching, but I won’t have as much work to do once school ends.
For the first time I’m not sitting in endless meetings, making plans for next school year that will then be abandoned in August for the ‘real’ plans.
For the first time I am not scrambling at the last minute to fill out award certificates, grades, schedule requests for the next school year, applications for summer PD, check-out forms, and all those other boring paperwork tasks that I (kind of) miss.
For the first time, I’m not receiving 500 hugs, handshakes, or high fives from students saying bye for the summer.
For the first time, I’m saying goodbyes to the out-going older kids over a Google meeting; and even at that, I only get to say goodbye to the ones who took the time to join the meet.
For the first time, I’m ending the year wearing yoga clothes, sending out messages on my couch over Google that I can only hope my students will get.
And for the first time, I am lost. I am a teacher. It is my job, my profession, my career, but also my calling, my identity, and my purpose. I live my life, not according to the four seasons, but to the seasons of teaching. And I’m missing so many teaching seasons this year.
I miss my school, my classroom, my schedule and routines. But most of all, I miss my students.
Students – if you’re out there and reading this, know that I (we) miss you more than I (we) can express. I (we) are heartbroken that I (we) cannot be there to experience all those exciting, boring, annoying, sad, and happy seasons of the school year with you. I am here, we are here, and I (we) will be here waiting with open arms when this is all over.