Mixed Emotions

April 10.2014

Today was like a great Romantic Comedy… it’s so good you cry. Positive-the movies good. Negative- no one likes crying but you do anyway.

The plot of my romantic comedy….

Today I woke up again to the cool breeze outside and the soft pitter patter of rain on my window. The weather begged me to stay in bed but my alarm clock told me otherwise. Strike one against my day.

Strike 2. I woke up with a killer sore throat and zero energy.

The walk to the bus stop was a solemn one. No one could put a finger on it, but I think it’s the “we love teaching” and now were just done…for now. But this is the significant end of a chapter, with a very unknown one in the future. Cue the solemn music that is in accordance with rain and overcast skies.

The bus then was late, and therefore we missed our closely timed connecting bus. Dang. We hopped on the bus that get’s us close but still a substantial walk. Clothes=wet. Cool.

Today was also House day, or a semi-homecoming for the school. Each student is divided into one of four houses. Green, Purple, Yellow or Red. I was on team Green, team Walton. The kids were wound up to the max because a) they didn’t have to wear uniforms but wore their colors instead b) were donating money for a “shave your head” benefit thing. I still don’t understand it. c) it’s house day, and therefore learning is second seat to having fun and ‘team bonding’. and d) all of the above. Cue chaos.

I love my kiddos to death. There is something about working in a low socioeconomic school with kids who barely know English and rely on you as a teacher for so much more than learning core subjects that breaks your heart and hangs on to it liked a tiny painful thread. These kids have become my babies. I hated that I didn’t have my typical energy and I hated that this was  more than likely the last day I’d ever see any of them. Even in the states when you have students for student teaching there is a small chance you’ll see them again someday. You can go visit or you might land a job at their school and then see them through the years. The good-byes there were just “see ya laters”. But here, they are good-byes.

I had no idea that I would form such neat and intimate bonds with these kids and the staff. They are so dear to my heart and the hugs, gifts, words of affirmation and even tears were enough to tell me they felt the same. This is the romance part of my Rom Com. I unexpectedly and blindly feel head over heels in love with these kids. There was a certain growth that I saw in them even in four weeks and a unique pride I feel for them in the work they have done.

The tears part is what got me most. You never know exactly how much kiddos understand about situations like this. The leaving, the goodbyes… So i wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. To be honest I didn’t expect much. A few hugs and ‘byes’ was pretty much what I was ready for, but what I got tugged on my heart strings hard. One of my most dear students brought me an Easter gift and sat on my lap all day. I didn’t complain, I would miss her tiny cuddles. One of my toughest students ( one that I knew needed me most) hugged me so hard i nearly fell over then asked me to come down to the floor, there we hugged again and he said , “Gina, I am going to miss you. A lot.” Simple words, but even as I type this I’m welling up again. This student some days flipped tables in anger, and three things… But we’d grown to have a certain understanding, a unique respect and a special bond. That killed me. One of my English Language Learner students just came up to me nd looked up, then started crying. He said “No leave, Gina.” Through sniffles and that was enough to give me sniffles too. This was all before the bell rang. When there was 45 minutes left the teachers asked for us to meet in the Honey Bees room. We complied and there the students shared their favorite parts of having us there, kindy style. They remembered the songs, the painting and ‘everything’. The teachers had planned for some snacks and a dance party before the bell rang. I danced to Let it Go with so many students you would have though I was Ilsa ;).

The real heart warming moments came next. The parents made their way into our classroom and asked for pictures with me and their child. Of course I would love to was my easy reply. I even got to take a selfie with a student. Mark that off the bucket list. 😉 a few hugs from parents, kind words and well wishes later all my kids were walking into the distance. Wow, that’s it. My final day of student teaching, forever. It didn’t feel like a huge weight was lifted, it felt kinda solemn. The image of one student crying burned in my memory as I cleaned up the classroom for the last time.

image

Double edge sword. Were done!!! 5 years of school and I’m graduation ready. I’ve been prepared by university standards to have my own classroom and have just one assignment left in my undergrad career!! Thats awesome right!? Then why do I feel so sad.
After thinking about this for quite sometime, I think its this: I love teaching. The feeling of that ending is a whole new level of bittersweet. Something I have never experienced. Exciting because the end of one hard working chapter means the beginning of a whole new exciting one. Sad because I loved what I was doing and it came to an end.
I still don’t think those words are sufficient. They way I felt leaving there was just so odd. It’s something I’ll remember forever but don’t know if I’ll ever be able to explain.

Paige and I came right home. Still lacking energy, and nursing a sore throat I climbed right in bed and took a couple hour nap. Haha what a way to celebrate 😉

The night didnt get that much more interesting. We were all in this in expected funk. No one thought we’d be so bummed to be done. A good indication we all enjoyed our time. Tomorrow starts the Questacon and final leg of our journey.

So as the credits roll in this Flim, I’m confused by my emotions but so happy I got to be a part in the making. 🙂
Cheers!!

Questacon update soon.

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