School, Snips And Snails

The Teacher

I wasn’t one of those moms who cried the day she sent her kid off to kindergarten. I was excited about the adventure that I knew was ahead for Sean.  I expected joy and it has been delivered in abundance.

But now that the school year is about to come to an end, I am beginning to feel a twinge of sadness, maybe the same sort of sadness that the other mothers felt in the fall.  I am not ready for this sweet season of half day school to come to an end.  For the past three years, we’ve enjoyed living in a small, safe bubble at this school and now that bubble is about to burst. And I’ve got my fingers in my ears waiting for the inevitable pop.

The leaving is so hard.  If only we could just stay a little longer, we surely would.

We’ve been visiting a lot of schools lately as we try to figure out where to send Sean for 1st grade. So yesterday, after we got home from school I told Sean about the school we had visited that day and how we really liked the 1st grade teacher.

“But I really like the teacher I have now,” he said.  He quietly dropped his chin to his chest and made that long face he makes when he is trying not to cry.  He tried to blink back the tears but they rolled down his cheeks anyway.

I didn’t have any wisdom to offer him, so I just reached across the table and touched his hand.

He wiped the tears from his face with is forearm.  “Wouldn’t it be nice if the teacher always went with you?” he whispered.

I nodded.  I pulled him across the table and into my lap.

And I thought to myself that a good teacher always goes with you, in some small way, wherever you go.

33 thoughts on “The Teacher

  1. I feel the same way! I was not sad sending my daughter off to Kindergarten this past fall. But now that it is coming to a close, I’m getting all nostalgic – and she’s staying at the same school. My baby’s growing up! Boo Hoo.

  2. Both of my parents were teachers and I’ve had some of the best teachers EVER in my lifetime. And they are indeed still with me. What a noble profession.

  3. half-day kindergarten was my favorite year, too!! I missed my daughter so much in first grade that I started working at her school!

  4. Yes, AM, they sure do! My little guy goes to Kindergarten in the fall and I’m (almost) feeling guilty because I’m not all weepy and “there goes my baby” like I was twenty years ago with his older brother. Yet, a part of me is still wistful that I won’t be sending any more little guys off to school. And it does make me sort of sad.

    And then I come to my senses.


  5. Oh… *sniff*

    I know. And, from time to time, they get a teacher who ISN’T wonderful, and it makes you love the lovely ones so much more.

    My three boys have had two teachers who were not great. It was a good learning experience: how to get through a year without hating school. I’m hoping and praying for a lovely teacher in first grade, for Sean! (You can tell almost immediately, I find.)

  6. So true that they stay with you – we’re currently trying to convince Harry’s teacher of the benefits of looping to 1st grade, but know she’ll be in his learning heart forever. How timely, since it’s Teacher Appreciation Week here. Best of luck finding a great school for your boy, and for adventuring this summer before full school days begin. It’s been wonderful for us, but I’m really excited for summer vacation….

  7. I’m 32, and I still email with my kindergarten teacher. We exchange Christmas cards. She retired a few years after my class, and moved away. I’ve been so thankful for email, since it allowed us to reconnect. There’s something about kindergarten, I think.

  8. I am the same way, AM. The start of something new fills me with excitement, but I always get all sentimental when one season comes to an end. Sigh.

    By the way, I love your boy’s tender heart.

  9. So true. Just this week my oldest daughter was addressing invitations to her h.s. graduation party, and she included her 4th grade teacher. This woman was demaning–too demanding to some students–but my daughters (all three had her) all thrived under her. I just thought it was so sweet that she would want to include her in her party.

  10. Change is usually a little frightening, but also exciting. First grade is wonderful and magical and you have all summer to help Sean get used to the idea.

    I know you’ll make the right choice of schools, etc.

    Enjoy the summer with your sweet boy.

  11. Poor little guy! I miss being able to pull Blake into my lap and comfort him. Now it’s more like he cuddles me then me cuddleing him when he gives me hugs and a kiss good night. I guess I’m blessed to get that since he is 18! Most boys wouldn’t.

    Your such a good mama! I look forward to reading the small flashes of your life you share with us all.

  12. One of the million reasons I’m homeschooling my kids: their teacher will always go with them. Always. Relentlessly. Without relief. MUAHAHAHA.

    I do remember every single teacher I ever had. I can’t think of one that I wouldn’t adore seeing again. They are amazing people.

  13. Sherri stole my comment, sort of. I was going to say you could homeschool him and then he would always have his teacher with him. But her comment is much funnier 🙂

  14. My goodness he is so smart. What wise thoughts. Don’t you just love how we learn through our children (sometimes…ha!)

    I cried. I love the idea of having a teacher grow with you like that. Excuse me future congressman.

    But wait, let’s look at it as Jesus being our teacher who does just that, along side those good teachers who stick with us in our hearts.

    My sons K teacher had that effect.

  15. My children had a wonderful, wonderful kindergarten teacher. I didn’t cry the first day of kindergarten, but on the last day, as she read a poem to her class recounting so many wonderful days, I did. I know that my children will always remember Mrs. Harris!

    (We are now homeschoolers so they get the same teacher year after year after year. Some days they like her, and some days they probably don’t.) 🙂

  16. I was sad at the beginning of kindergarten for my oldest and sad the last day as well knowing that he was moving on to a real numbered grade (makes them seem older and growing up way to fast). I still miss him when he is at school, and he is currently in 2nd grade.

    My youngest starts kindergarten this fall. I think I have repressed the sadness until the other day when we were planning her preschool graduation, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. She is growing up, and starting big school soon. As she starts school, I will be working part time and that is also a change for me. I have enjoyed being a stay at home mom and now that time has come to a close. I have truly treasured the experience.

  17. I still remember my kindergarten teacher and my 4th,5th grade ones as well. Hubs is a teacher. He has past students come by all the time to talk to him. It warms my heart that they think of him when they think of their Elementary years. And just so you know, I was one of those mom’s that cried silent tears in her car the first and last day of kindergarten. Have a happy Mother’s Day!!

  18. I was going to make the homeschooling comment, but some witty commenters beat me to it…
    Treasure the good teachers– and if you end up with the difficult ones– then give them extra prayer and love– I think that sometimes I learn MORE lessons when someone isn’t nice to me– I have to grow to be more .,..”like Jesus” !
    Happy Mother’s Day!

  19. Tell Sean I know exactly how he feels. Back in the day, I fell in love with my 1st grade teacher. And after I had grown into adulthood and had two children of my own, I received the best gift. My daughter was entering kindergarten and guess who she had for a teacher?! My first grade teacher! She was a brand new teacher when she taught me and was a seasoned teacher when my girls (both were privileged to have her) went into kindergarten. It was love all over again. We caught up on all the years in between, I helped in their classes and we correspond even today. And all the “girls” in my family have the same favorite teacher!

  20. I am so thankful that Sean has loved this past year and his teacher; what a gift! And I really hope this next year of adventure is just as sweet with a wonderful teacher. I also take comfort in knowing that sometimes it’s ok to not have the words to share and that it’s ok to be silently supportive to our boys.

    I’ve recently thought back to all the many special teachers I’ve had throughout my life. I was certainly blessed and a number of them are still good friends of mine. I hope that it’s that way for Sean and Brennan, too.

  21. Oh, break my heart! I’m a first grade teacher “following” my students up to second grade next year (“looping” is the technical term). I agree with Sean: it would be nice to keep the class together with the teacher. I’ve kidded with my parents this year that if they’d pitch in for a big van, I’d stay with these students until I dropped them off at college. Tell your little sweetie that teachers feel the same way at the end of the year.

  22. “And I thought to myself that a good teacher always goes with you, in some small way, wherever you go.” That is so is so hard to say good-bye to the good ones!

  23. I think at each milestone, a bigger bubble burst. My daughter is completing elementary school this month. I am feeling the same sentimental feelings. I want her to stay in elementary just a little while longer!

  24. Yes, and her name is Sharon Kingston. She taught honors English at our high school. Not only did she teach us to love words, she had some amazing life lessons that she taught us.

    We are all in our 50’s,and besides our families she has had the most impact on our collective lives.

  25. I just came across your blog and wanted to say that as a former college RA (resident assistant) sometime even the freshman guys moving in cry. They don’t do it in public like most of the girls, however, when they walk their parents back to the car for the final good bye. Something to look forward to 13 ish years from now.

  26. I learned lessons from my elementary school teachers that have stayed with me and influenced my life choices and the way I interact with and educate my children. I was homeschooled through 2nd grade, but my 3rd grade teacher encouraged me to be a reader, my 4th grade teacher inspired me to love music and singing, and my 5th grade teacher taught me how to be compassionate and kind to others.

  27. We just celebrated teacher appreciation week at school. I love your last line ,”a good teacher always goes with you, in some small way, wherever you go.”

    That is so true and so well said. Thanks. Can I quote you?

  28. Oh..its so sweet of him…! I remember some of my kindergarden teachers too. I think teachers are able to make an impact in the lives of the kids. I like your last line & I totally agree with you.

  29. my youngest gson will finish in the Primary School this year…fifth grade..he will now move over into Middle School..grades 6-9…I am not ready for this big step…where has my baby boy gone??? he is excited about this big step…me I just keep my thoughts to myself LOL..Good Luck Sean and God Bless as you move ahead….it is called “growing up”…and we Moms and Grandmas just want to slow time down!!! Ora in KY

  30. I am going back to school to become a teacher … it’s not always easy, as I know the job won’t always be easy, but this post is why I’m doing it. Thank you for sharing it.

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