This time of year is bittersweet. I've "raised" 24 kiddos this year. Helped them grow from teeny tinies, many of whom didn't recognize their own name, to writers. Helped them grow from yelling, "I don't know how to read" to kiddos competent in knowing several ways to read a book. Helped them grow from leaving the bathroom door open while using it to actually closing the door. Yes...in K we DO see it all.
Bittersweet because now, NOW that I have them trained, I pack them up and send them off to first grade. Why? (insert heavy sighs here)
As I stand in my class this week I am well aware of the growth that has occurred and the amazingness of kindergarten. I look around at my kiddos with pride when I see them writing for the love of writing. Asking me if they can write more. Asking to share their writing. Asking to help others with their learning. Asking to read books to the class. They have come full circle from being scaffolded, to being the scaffolders.
It is very hard to watch them march off in June, but, in many ways they are not walking off alone...there will always be a piece of me with them. When they stop friends from killing insects, I'm there. When they pick up litter off the ground, I'm there. When they get that stare while reading aloud to the class and say, "I'm waiting" I know just what I sound like, but more importantly, I'm there. As their kindergarten teacher I will always hold a special place in their heart. They will come back to visit, they will shout my name with wild abandon in the cafeteria, they will hug me during summer camps and reading programs. And it will be like it never ended...it just continues.