Rows of tables lined the cafeteria, filled with anxious parents and their soon-to-be 2nd graders. A large cake adorned a side table, frosting spelling out “Second Grade Here We Come.” As the slideshow started, so did the fight to hold back tears as my throat tightened watching my oldest child’s school days unfold before my eyes on the large screen. I’ve been on both sides of this- I’ve been the teacher (ahem, lit coach) sending off the students at the end of the year, proud to show them through pictures just how I saw them throughout the year, and choked up with mixed emotion of relief that we had finally made it through the school year, yet sadness that it was indeed finally over. They were parting from me. Because of this, I could empathize with her, and knew exactly how she felt as she choked up talking to us. As a parent, I was so incredibly thankful that she took the time- that she cared so much- to document the long days that my son was away from me. The moments captured are irreplaceable and priceless to me. I will forever be thankful.
In just 3 short days I’ll be the mom of a 2nd grader. This baffles me. In a way I’m so excited for summer to start so the kids and I can have fun together (it is so strange during the school year to do fun things with just Hudson and Amelia- I feel like we’re leaving Porter out), but in another sense I’m so sad that this year is ending.
Porter was definitely blessed with an amazing, goes far above and beyond teacher this year. I sat in the cafeteria tonight thinking of how stupid I would have been if I’d moved him out of the class he was assigned because another student was in there that I wanted him separated from. He would have missed out on all of this. He would have missed out on her touching his life with her memories, kindness, knowledge, strictness, expectations and encouragement. For the last 3 weeks of school she made a balloon garland. Each balloon contained a fun activity for the kids to discover after popping the balloon of the day. Every day I picked Porter up he was excited to tell me what fun was awaiting in the balloon that day. They had ice pops, had a sidewalk chalk coloring outside, flew kites (everyone got their own kite), played card games and got bouncy balls to play with at extra recess- to name a few. Truly amazing that she went out of her way to make the last 3 weeks truly memorable, and went through the trouble of organizing and planning daily activities.
After the slideshow (which she had burned a disc for every student), she presented us with memory books that the kids had helped make throughout the year. I. Was. Shocked. This book is amazing. It has 25 page protectors chock full of picture collages and writings from throughout the year and art projects and handprints and questionnaires. The time put into this- I can’t even imagine.
So, this week will be bittersweet as we say goodbye to a truly one of a kind teacher- she has definitely touched our lives in an indescribable way.