Of course this will be like every other yearbook post I've written... year after year. But it's important for me to remember so here we go.
The loneliness birds came on Tuesday. The last real day of class. I had already given my last final heart to heart about Being a Hero - begging them to find ways to change the world. I had given them what was left of my heart and soul. I felt like an empty bucket. Used, worn out, just done.
Wednesday was Lagoon day. It's a wonderful day of spending time with my favorite teachers. We laugh and cry together as we celebrated another notch in the belt.
Thursday was Yearbook Day came. I dragged myself to school. Luckily I didn't have a first period so I cleaned, I packed, and then I prepared myself for another long day of loneliness birds.
And then my students walked in.
It wasn't immediate. It wasn't like a flood. It started with a little trickle but by the end of the day I was being pounded down with so much love and gratitude that I could hardly breath. I haven't cried in years at the ending of the year.... I thought I was over that feeling. But at the end of the day when student after student walked up and asked, "Mrs. B, can I have a hug?" The tears just flowed.
(For the record, in my foggy recollection I don't think I have ever hugged a current student in my 10 years of teaching)
The gifts. The cards. The kind words. And the 200 thoughtful messages in my yearbook were so overwhelming it was surreal.
But I guess I feel it's important to express why I wasn't expecting this. This year I was the meanest, toughest, and strictest teacher I have ever been. I expected more from my students than ever before. It took longer for me to love them. I didn't open up to them as much as I usually do. I was much much much more business than ever before as a teacher.
It wasn't until half way through the day that someone showed me. This year for the first time since I've taught at my school, they polled the students........ and here was the results!
I couldn't believe it! It was so so so sweet.
Reading through that yearbook is hands down the most humbling, sweetest thing I experience as a teacher. Over and over and over again I hear, "You are the best teacher I've ever had." and "Thank you." but the thing that makes me the happiest is, "Your class is the reason that I came to school."
But hands down the most memorable was from a girl that like she said, "we had some rough patches" but man oh man to hear her call me the queen and a great teacher!!! I can die happy!
Another fun one has to do with a random paper that I cut out of some magazine somewhere that looks like this: