Today was an amazing day. I, along with my wonderful classmates, graduated in front of our students from this past year. Kyrene Elementary School District hosted a lucky class of student teachers and sent us off in style. As our cohort of 28 teacher candidates walked through the gym at Pueblo Middle School, all ages of students were cheering and waving. I of course could not even keep it together and immediately teared up.
It only got worse from there… Pueblo’s show choir sang “Shooting Star” by Owl City and the lyrics really got to me. Our lovely Site Coordinator, Cindy, gave a beautiful speech about our hard work and dedication throughout the year and individually congratulated myself and the other three ladies who completed an Honors thesis project. We watched an adorable montage of photos throughout the year of us with our students and each class had recorded a thank you for us teachers. So sweet! Then we were called up by name and handed a certificate, each class cheering for their teacher. Finally, in closing, a member of the cohort described all the hard work we had put in to this past year and that we had made a video showing it: cue our version of the Harlem Shake, definitely a good laugh. Cindy thanked everyone for coming and congratulated us once more and it was over! I found my class and they each rushed to give me a hug, some with tears in their eyes! They were saying “Please don’t go!” and “I’ll miss you!” and I started crying again. Even the boys were crying! Fifth grade boys!
We of course needed a class photo to top it off, so my co-teacher, mentor teacher and the class squeezed together for some great pictures. Student teaching this past year has been an experience I will never forget. Laughing, crying, wonderment, frustration, lesson planning, collaboration.. I could go on and on. Everyone says teachers change the lives of their students, but students have an equally important effect on their teacher. I will always love my first fifth grade class.
Here’s to starting a new chapter of adventures.