My Real Life

June 20, 2013

Last Days of School – A Teacher’s Perspective

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

As I write this, there are two days left of school.

For me, there won’t be any History instruction in these last two days as Thursday will be spent in graduation rehearsal all day (which is an instruction unto itself) and Friday is the 8th grade yearbook signing party.

But what there will be is a lot of goodbye.

There seems to be an assumption that teachers can’t kick the kids out the door fast enough when the end of June rolls around.

There seems to be an assumption that we wait all year for that last day of school to say “Goodbye, See Ya, Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out,” so we can hit the beach.

If people only knew.

The last days of school are an exercise in letting go, saying goodbye, and watching a piece of you walk out of a door.

In my case, 126 pieces of me.

Which is not to say we aren’t ready for them to go.

We are.  Not because we want to be rid of them, but because we know they are ready to move on and that it is time.

They are not the same people they were when they walked into our rooms in the fall.

They are bigger, stronger, smarter, faster, braver, better than they were.

They are more than ready to meet the next challenge ahead of them.

But they’ll do it without us.

It’s true…we are already thinking about next year’s kids and getting excited about new learning, new plans, new relationships.

But we’re sad at being left and we miss them.

Every single year.

And maybe…just maybe…that’s why I have such a hard time with my own children growing up.

Because I am being outgrown and left every single year.

It is a heartbreak unique to teachers.

The students enter in the fall and you know, already, that they will leave you in the summer.

And you still can’t help but fall in love with them over and over and over again.

I cleaned out my classroom after school today.

Started putting things away, recycling papers, taking down posters.

I was left with this:



An empty room.

A sad room.

Because a classroom without students is a sad place to be.

My 8th graders graduate next Tuesday night and I will stand behind that podium and call their names and watch them take their diplomas and walk out of my life.

I just hope that somewhere, deep inside, they will always carry a piece of me with them, because I will always carry a piece of them with me.


  1. Lovely, Amy.

    Comment by Sandi — June 20, 2013 @ 7:16 am | Reply

    • Thank you, Sandi! 🙂

      Comment by Amy — June 20, 2013 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

  2. What a sweet perspective. I didn’t expect tears with this morning’s coffee! Thank you for sharing.

    Comment by Amy - Funny is Family — June 20, 2013 @ 7:27 am | Reply

    • Thank you, Amy…it’s definitely bittersweet. 🙂

      Comment by Amy — June 20, 2013 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

  3. They absolutely will carry a piece if you with them, and, so will their parents 🙂

    Comment by LB — June 20, 2013 @ 11:45 am | Reply

    • 🙂 Thanks, Lori. 🙂

      Comment by Amy — June 20, 2013 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

  4. This post is so perfect. Congratulations to your graduating students, and their teacher, this year and every year!

    Comment by Anna — June 21, 2013 @ 6:31 am | Reply

    • Thanks, Anna! 🙂

      Comment by Amy — June 21, 2013 @ 6:32 am | Reply

  5. It is true, although they probably wont realise it straight away. Thanks for sharing, oh and making me cry.

    Comment by Molley@A Mother Life — June 21, 2013 @ 7:05 am | Reply

    • 🙂 Thank you!

      Comment by Amy — June 21, 2013 @ 7:36 am | Reply

  6. I am 30 years old, and I still go visit my 8 th grade science teacher. She is such a huge part of me, she helped me so much. Your students that you made a bond with will make the effort and they will never ever forget you.

    Comment by Rebekah — June 21, 2013 @ 7:11 am | Reply

    • I love this! I invited my HS Algebra/Trig teacher to my wedding and we regularly compete against each other in Words With Friends…I’m 41 and I will NEVER forget her. 🙂

      Comment by Amy — June 21, 2013 @ 7:35 am | Reply

  7. Hearing this perspective just makes me glad there are so, so many teachers like you out there. Just like my kids still talk about their teachers of the past, I have to assume that their teachers still think about them. Teachers and kids work together to make the year count, and that’s a special, beautiful thing.
    Lovely words, beautiful message, pass the tissues.

    Comment by LetMeStartBySaying (@LetMeStart) — June 21, 2013 @ 8:41 am | Reply

    • Teachers and kids work together to make the year count…I love that. 🙂

      Comment by Amy — June 21, 2013 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  8. Aww Mrs. B, I bet you are one of the favorites that the kids *always* remember and stop by to visit years after graduation. What a sweet farewell message.

    Comment by RachRiot — June 21, 2013 @ 9:04 am | Reply

    • Thanks, Rach. 🙂

      Comment by Amy — June 21, 2013 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  9. Expressed perfectly, thanks!

    Comment by Lisa MacArtney — June 21, 2013 @ 9:20 am | Reply

    • Thank you, Lisa!

      Comment by Amy — June 21, 2013 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  10. What a lovely post from a teacher’s perspective. Thanks for sharing that. I loved my teachers growing up and I’m grateful for what they taught me.

    Comment by Darcy Perdu — June 21, 2013 @ 10:03 am | Reply

    • I loved mine, as well. So glad to be able to try to do the same for another child!

      Comment by Amy — June 21, 2013 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

  11. Your students are lucky to have a teacher like you!

    Loved this!

    Comment by Susan McLean — June 21, 2013 @ 2:06 pm | Reply

    • Thank you, Susan!

      Comment by Amy — June 21, 2013 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

  12. Wow, I never thought of it this way. I didn’t think I could love teachers anymore, but after reading this I do.

    Comment by Baby Sideburns — June 21, 2013 @ 3:16 pm | Reply

    • Aw, thank you…I appreciate it! 🙂

      Comment by Amy — June 21, 2013 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

  13. Beautifully expressed!! I feel the same way when my seniors go off to college. I will miss them very, very much!!

    Comment by Paris — June 21, 2013 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

    • I can’t believe that your seniors used to be my 8th graders! 🙁

      Comment by Amy — June 21, 2013 @ 8:17 pm | Reply

  14. Very well written and heartfelt. Those kids (and those before them) have been enriched by having you as their teacher.

    Comment by Pat — June 21, 2013 @ 9:22 pm | Reply

    • Thank you very much…I think they are the ones who enriched me!

      Comment by Amy — June 22, 2013 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  15. Amy-what a beautiful piece! Lucky for us David got to spend a year with you and Becca will get to do it next year!

    Comment by Michele Murray — June 22, 2013 @ 8:40 am | Reply

    • Thanks, Michele! They are great kids!

      Comment by Amy — June 22, 2013 @ 9:55 am | Reply

  16. This is wonderful. My kids have been blessed with many awesome teachers, and I always let them know they are awesome, so they have no doubts. My son just graduated from high school, and in the mail came a card from his 6th grade teacher. She had given him the confidence he deserved; she was a turning point in him believing in himself. The card from the retired teacher that he hadn’t seen in 6 years was so touching. It sounds like you are the same type of teacher. Growing attached to your students is a wonderful problem to get over each year. God bless you.

    Comment by Josie — June 22, 2013 @ 12:10 pm | Reply

    • Thanks, Josie…it’s definitely a wonderful problem! 🙂

      Comment by Amy — June 22, 2013 @ 1:20 pm | Reply

  17. So well said and incredibly true. The beauty of teaching is really knowing you have made a difference in a child’s life whether you teach the really young or older students. Every year we spend with children is a year full of hard work, wonder, surprises, challenges and successes. Hats off to teachers who believe in what they do. I certainly do!

    Comment by Phyllis — June 22, 2013 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

    • Thank YOU, Phyllis!

      Comment by Amy — June 23, 2013 @ 7:53 am | Reply

  18. As a teacher & a parent of a daughter graduating from high school tomorrow, I appreciate your every word. Thank you!

    Comment by Lori Maurer — June 22, 2013 @ 9:03 pm | Reply

    • Thank you, Lori!

      Comment by Amy — June 23, 2013 @ 7:52 am | Reply

  19. […] writing HERE about the last day of school from a teacher’s […]

    Pingback by Summing Up My Week… (06/16/13-06/23/13) | Let Me Start By Saying… — June 23, 2013 @ 8:21 am | Reply

  20. That is beautiful. I have kept in contact with a few teachers that had a huge impact on me. I am sure, from your writing, that you also made an impact on your students.

    Comment by Natalie Malloy Conard — June 24, 2013 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

    • Thank you, Natalie! I certainly hope so!

      Comment by Amy — June 24, 2013 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

  21. Every child in your classroom, is someone’s whole world! So good for us parents to know that we have someone who truly understands that sentiment!

    Comment by Patty Haralampoudis — June 30, 2013 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

    • Thank you, Patty!

      Comment by Amy — June 30, 2013 @ 12:53 pm | Reply

  22. Students always remember the great teachers and you seem great…. Thank you for educating our children. Teachers are special people…

    Comment by Karen — June 28, 2015 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

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