I remember the time my daughter, without prompting, asked, “Mom, do we have any thank you notes?” For years, I had asked my children to sit down and write thank you notes when they received something, but this time it was her idea. It was one of those little proud moments moms love.
Last night I had this same kind of moment with two of my students. When a child leaves our classroom (which happens a lot in the ebb and flow of the distance learning classroom), we’ve developed a farewell routine where we make that child a Jamboard card. I start the virtual card with my own note to the child and a picture or two of something they love. Then I share the Jamboard with the students and they add beautiful notes and pictures. They’ve gone a bit wild lately adding pages and pages of images and notes, so now we limit it to three notes and three pictures. It makes a beautiful celebration as the child of honor watches the pages fill with kind notes and sweet images, all thoughtfully selected based on what they know and love about this child.
Recently I’ve learned that my position will be changing. Due to the fact that so many students are returning to school and my class size is now dipping below 5, the decision has been made to transition my students to another first grade distance learning classroom and return me to my literacy coach role. As thrilled as I am to be returning to the work I love and need to be doing, I’m heartsick about leaving these children and their families. We’ve been pioneers together through this uncharted land. We’ve grown close. I called my families and broke the news. I talked with my students. We’ve spent time this week talking, adjusting, and planning for the transition.
Last night when I opened my email, I noticed that there were emails from the twins. It’s rare for me to receive email from my first grade students, so I opened them right away. As I clicked on the links, Jamboards appeared. I’m going to miss you so, so, so, so much, said one sticky. There were pictures of giraffes and elephants and dogs (my favorite animals and pet), and ice cream, lots and lots of ice cream, and beautiful notes.
It was one of those little proud moments teachers (well maybe humans) love.