Last day.

Today was the last day of school.

This is my fourth year teaching and I don’t want to think that I’m becoming less sensitive, but I think after each year, it becomes easier to say goodbye. And now that I teach 4th grade, the kids are still in the same building next year, so that also makes it less sad. I was telling a friend of mine today that this part of the year isn’t that difficult- like I said a few blogs back, it’s about 2 weeks before school gets out AND the first 2 weeks of the fall- when I realize that my classroom is full of strangers and “my kids” are never coming back. That is when it is sad.

I guess it just fits in the category of “things that go along with the job”. You love these kids with your whole heart for 180 days, then you let them go. And all of the sudden they belong to someone else. Even if you are in the middle of a life story with them (i.e.- a father in the hospital), it’s the end of the story for you. And that has to be okay.

It’s funny- the kids that give you the hardest time end up being the ones that tug your heartstrings on the last day. There were multiple days when I left thinking about one student and saying to myself, “Great job, Downs. You lost your patience with him AGAIN.” And it broke my heart. I would pray for the Lord to forgive me and cover my sins and please display Himself more than I display my dumb self.

Today that student gave me one of his most precious possessions- his Build-A-Bear. For a child that can not afford to play rec football (or pay for lunch) that is a HUGE deal. It brought tears to my eyes. Then I read his card (this is exactly how he wrote it, excuse the spelling)-

“Dear Ms. Downs,
You were really sweet to me in your class. Your the best teacher in the hole wide world. You were really wonderful to me. Thank you for teaching me, and I am going to really miss you alot. And I hope you teach the next genoroshen
[generation] just the same.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why our public schools need Christian teachers. Because even when I lack patience and kindness, the brightness of Jesus in me affects these children and someday, when he hears the gospel message (if he hasn’t already), maybe he will say, “I remember I had a teacher once that sometimes reminded me of this. I bet she was a Christian. She loved me a lot. I bet God loves me.”

That’s what I pray. For every kid.

And the best part of this job? SUMMER!! Swimming. Sleeping late. Ceiling fans. Flowers. Lunch with friends. Flip-flops. Same pay check. Booyah.

On a completely not serious note, please tell me you watch “Best Week Ever” on VH1. I’m laughing outloud.

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