After teaching 4th grade for eight years, I felt a change coming. When the opportunity to move to 5th grade next year popped up, I took it. A new grade level meant new challenges and opportunities to both learn and teach new things. Moving to the next grade level meant that I could also bring my class along with me.
I love my class. There's just something about them.
Several times they have asked me if I would be their 5th grade teacher. I always joked back that I've had enough of them or that I didn't want to torture myself for another year. They always "got" it. They know that I care deeply about each and every one of them. They are "my kids."
On Wednesday, I could finally share the big news. I was expecting the kids to be happy. I was not expecting them to be as elated as they were.
But this was not just about me.
It was about keeping our "family" together.
It was about the relief some of them felt at having consistency in their otherwise chaotic lives.
It was about putting to rest the fears they had about next year, about the anxiety some of them were already feeling about having to mesh with a new teacher with new expectations.
It was a wonderful celebration of how far we've come this past year and where we can go.