We have often heard the phrase, “when one door closes, another one opens,” however, sometimes a simple reassuring collection of words does nothing to prepare you for that current door to ultimately close. It provides a small amount of comfort but when the time comes to close that door, it hits you harder than you would have imagined; that’s what happened for me, at least.
A few days ago I had my last day at my first student teaching placement, and the fact that I am half way done with my final semester of college is nothing short of surreal. My last day with my students was on Thursday and my final day in the school was Friday. Thursday came and went, I said goodbye to my students, and I was ready for Spring Break. Friday, however, was a different story. I was in the classroom all day with my co-op, cleaning up the mess I brought in, and reorganizing myself before I left. As I was finishing up, in walks a group of 6th graders who wanted to say goodbye one more time.
To say my heart nearly exploded is an understatement. I was so overcome that I almost cried right then and there (fortunately though, I left it for when I got in the car on the way home). They all jumped into the room yelling my name, asking me to sign their projects, and insisting I come back and visit. When you are there everyday, working, writing lesson plans, and managing a classroom, it is really easy to lose track of what is actually happening. We build relationships with these kids, we help them to grow. I remember each and every student teacher I have ever had, good or bad; and now these students will remember me as being their 6th grade Art teacher.
Yes I cried, and yes I miss it, but those 6th graders have shown me the next door. I will be starting my second placement in a few short days and I am ready to continue this journey of changing my life and those of my students.
Some fun examples of student work during my first placement.