I said good-bye to my class last Thursday. It was a great day filled with fun, memories and a bit of sadness. For the past 5 years, it’s been tradition to have an autograph signing party. Each child wears an old t-shirt and the children use Sharpies to sign their name on the back of each other’s shirts. It’s so much fun and the class loves the activity. I also allow them to sign my arm which they think is the greatest thing ever.
At the end of the day, the parents were all excited to tell me how much they loved the class and how their child has blossomed throughout the year. I have to agree with this statement as all the children are more than ready to move up to the next level. I teach the highest grade at the preschool and all children will move on to private or public Kindergarten next year.
I have to admit, though, this year was the worst I have ever experienced in all my years as a preschool teacher. We have a very small group of teachers and administrative staff. I felt there was very little support, and most times, I had to handle problems in my own way. For this, some may say, I acted in a way that was not like my natural personality but more like a wacked-out crack-head. If I have to be honest, I say most outbursts were due to frustration and the knowledge that our school has lost some of its “essence.” The educational quality is still there but the environment has changed dramatically.
Some tough decision will have to be made this summer. Do I suck it up and stay the course or do I make a break? I know I will be disappointing several families who have waited a long time to have me as their child’s teacher but is that enough to stay? I’m good in the classroom and my attitude does not reflect in how I teach or act toward the class and parents. However, there is always a bit of an edge and a I find it difficult to separate what is happening in my room to what I see going on around me.
No one is indispensable and someone else may have more wind in their sails to carry on next year.