Today was my last day of work. My last day with the little girl I have been matched with all school year. My last day in my class room of 29 students and an amazing young teacher who started as a stranger, then my a co-worker and became a friend.
It's hard to remember back to those stressful first days in September and how nervous we ALL were. First year Teacher, First year Teacher's Assistant and TWENTY NINE 11 to 13 year olds. Someone thought it was wise to abandon us alone together in a room and leave us to our devices for a year.
And it's been good; actually, its been great.
In seven months I have endured an entire life time of experiences through the eyes of these kids. I have walked beside them through parent death, abuse, divorce, separation, foster care, adoption, medical crisis, pets dying and arriving. In fact its been an innumerable series of successes and struggles. I have had parents angry at me and parents who think I am the best T. A. EVERrrrrr. I've frozen on the playground in minus twenty degree weather doing recess supervision. I've marched scared kids into the Principal's office and wiped away more tears than I can count. I've celebrated helping a learning disabled child get it and explaining to a know-it-all why they don't.
Surgery and recovery will take me away from the class until school is long finished for the year and so over the last few days we prepared for my departure. A party and cake, gifts and cards, flowers and candy, hand written notes and my very own "World's Best Teacher" Build-A-Bear.
After over 11 years of being at home, I knew I working would be an adjustment. I knew I would enjoy the pay cheque. I knew I would enjoy getting out of the house. I knew I would make new friends.
What I didn't know is how my heart would grow to include 28 very special kids on whose life I hope I made an impact. The crazy ones, the silly ones, the snotty ones, the hyper ones, the hormonal ones, the rude ones, the happy ones, the weepy ones, the confident ones, the sad ones, the talented ones, the struggling ones. They are all the loved ones.
Good-bye kids. I will miss you.
And to Eric, my sweet son, thank you for putting up with having your M-O-M in class with you. I know some days were yucky and some days were good and I know I expected the very most from you. Enjoy your last six weeks of mom free class time, just don't enjoy it too much because you know? Now that I am off work, I COULD home-school you again!