The year is almost over in some places, it is long gone. Summer is around the corner and its the time of year when your kids will no longer be yours. My first year I did not feel sad, because I was looping with most of my class. The next year, after two years with those students, I did tear up a bit. Those students were mine, and then, they were not. They drove away on the last day of school and I would not have them any more.
For the next two years I was blessed to work with the most amazing group of kids I may ever meet. I like to think I helped them toward that path, but the truth is they were always awesome, they were just waiting for the chance to show it to the world. When they left, I was incredibly sad. I knew I was losing something special, something I may never have again as an educator. But this time there were no tears. I realized something that I hadn’t the first time. You may not always be theirs, but THEY ARE ALWAYS YOURS! No matter where they go, no matter what they do, they are yours. What they do when they leave you reflects upon you as an educator and a person far more than the scores they got on a test. I still check in on kids in my first class, even in other schools. Those that I have lost contact with, I wonder about often.
For those of you who are only experiencing this for the first time, remember that this is a happy occasion, you have said your peace and you are releasing these amazing young people into the world. Their next teacher, boss, endeavor, will be successful because of your impact. Celebrate the amazing things about your class. Follow them through their educational careers and lives, for they have already followed you. No matter where they go, They are Always Yours! No one can take that from you, not a bus, not a graduation, not a family moving. Those kids are yours forever, and your true impact as an educator is measured by what happens when they leave you. Make sure your impact sends them onward to greatness!