The kids began the day with an awards program. After the end-of-year awards were over, we held the 5th grade graduation. The kids all looked so beautiful in their "Sunday best." (We're on uniforms, so it's rare to see the kids in other clothes. They looked so different.)
Because the teachers present their certificates in alphabetical order, I am always the first teacher to present. I said my little speech, called out each kid's name and gave them a hug as they gathered their certificate. I tried really hard not to cry, but when I looked in their faces, I really couldn't help it. The P.E. teacher passed me some Kleenex. The funniest part was when one of my students asked for one of my tissues after he got his certificate. I told the audience, "See how much we believe in sharing."
After the program, we watched a little slide video I made for them last night with pictures from throughout the year. It's so amazing how much older they look now. Then we watched another slide video that the computer teacher put together of kids, faculty, and staff throughout the school year. Report cards and important papers were distributed, and finally I presented them with their gifts. The kids really liked their gifts and that made me happy.
The parents of student in another class decided to thank the teachers by providing us with lunch. Those parents purchased rolls, sandwich meat with the fixings, and cake so that we could have a nice lunch on the last day of school.
The students had an early dismissal today, but before we left, one of my newbie crocheters gave me the little starter piece she had been working on. She, along with the others, promised to keep on practicing.
There were so many hugs, so many tears, and so many smiles. One of my favorite statements I heard today was, "Ms. H, even though you had to punish me, you still are my favorite teacher." Tough love works. :-)
It has been a great year - not one without many heartaches as well - but it still has been a really amazing year. I'm thankful for the progress that each person made and for the way they learned to bond together like a family.
We were and always will be the best Trailer 149!