After tomorrow, I'll have just one official teaching day left. Quite a few organizing, planning projects to do as well, but the school year is disappearing quickly. Tomorrow, I'll have my fifth graders for the last time. Being an elementary-only music teacher has its sacrifices. Saying good-bye is one of my least favorite. Last week, those fifth graders shared some special solos and I had a few specific words of appreciation and affirmation for each of them. There were tears and hugs and lots of loving words from the students. Tomorrow might be even worse. It's hard to say good-bye to students.
I grew accustomed to keeping them....from first grade, right on up to graduation day. I was spoiled, but it was one of my favorite perks of being a multi-age music teacher. I loved the longevity of my relationships. That was hard to give up. And it was very, very hard to say good-bye to those students. Before I had my own daughters, they were 'my kids'...and I think I'll always feel a little of that protective love.
But summer is coming and my kids and I have some beautiful plans for our sunny mornings and days at the beach and time with cousins and friends. My time with them is already speeding by. That protective teacher love is so much fiercer now as mother love. And that short-and-all-too-fast-window of "first grade--on up to graduation" is now my own reality. Maya is an official first grader. A graduate. She reminds me of this several times a day, sometimes with teasing words about how fast she's growing up, sometimes with factual information about being DONE with kindergarten, sometimes though...my favorite...is when she just circles around me humming 'Pomp and Circumstance.'
I'm not so sure I'm ready for the pace of the fall....and first grade! I can hardly think about September now.
But I am ready at least, to embrace June, July, and August!