Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A most beautiful goodbye

Saying goodbye can be an exceedingly emotional experience.  When something, someone, and somewhere because such an integral and meaningful part of your life, saying goodbye, no matter for what reason or under what kind of circumstances, can make the heart ache.  So was the case last Tuesday when my kindergarten class surprised me with the very sweetest thank you/going away party.  The past 1.5 years at this school were a roller coaster. We were plagued with staff changes, at both the classroom and administration level, whether it be pregnancy, moving away, unhappy or unfit for the position - you name it, we experienced it.  There were many frustrating days when I felt so under supported, under challenged, and undervalued. Weeks when I had no idea how I would make it to Friday.  More cases of strep, fever, or stomach bugs than I've ever had, resulting from the combination of constant exposure to sick children and an immune system weakened by stress. But even during the hardest of weeks there was something to keep me going.  Maybe it was a parent who stopped to look me in the eye and tell me how much they appreciate my work. Or a colleague bringing chocolates to the teachers' room.  Or a child beaming with pride as she finally built up the confidence to go swimming for the very first time in her life. Or the little boy wrapping his arms around me in the middle of the day and sincerely proclaiming, ''I love you!''  Those were the moments I lived for and will treasure for years to come.

So back to the party.

I was told by my co-teacher that I ''really needed to go to the bathroom'' *wink wink* and the class scurried off to the gym where I met them a few minutes later. They presented me with a ''Schuletüte'', the traditional gift which German children receive when they begin school. Upon being instructed to look inside, I discovered it was empty. They then told me that they would be filling it up with all of the things that I need to be a teacher in my new school next year.  As each child came forward with a gift, a flower, and a hug, tears quickly came to my eyes. The tears really started falling as my co-teacher shared the sweetest words and the parents presented me with a beautiful book, which included each child's picture and their families' wishes for me.

On my actual last day I had a quiet morning with only half of my class, as the other half was on a field trip. I brought them a special copy of ''Oh the Places You'll Go'' and we baked sugar cookies in the ''kids kitchen''.  I've already seen several of my colleagues since my last day, as they're all amazing people with whom I enjoy spending time outside of work.

And at the end of August it's on to new adventures in a new school with slightly older children. But until then...bring on the summer vacation!!!

1 comment:

  1. Awww... that's so sweet, Chelsea :)

    Have fun in Ukraine and please post when you can! So excited for you guys!