This month marked the end of my semester teaching my Kindergarten and Elementary School students. While it was hard to say goodbye, the last week of August was quite busy since it was the end of the semester, which meant fun days and lots of snack time! Here’s how we spent our last week together.
As I’ve mentioned before, each month we take the Kindergarteners on a field trip to the aquarium, photo shoot, zoo, or whatever fun activity the school plans around Korea. This month, we stayed right at school and had a pajama party. This was perfectly fine with most teachers as August was exceedingly hot and humid. We started Thursday morning with a fashion show. My class was best dressed—of course.
Afterwards the students had their photos taken. We played some games, mades some crafts, did some dancing, and took a little ‘rest’. My students would not lay still and rest, though. They were all balls of energy. After lunch we watched a movie and then it was time to go home. The whole day was fine, until it was time to say goodbye to them. As my Korean co-teacher (KT) and I prepared to take them to the bus, my KT said, “Okay everyone, let’s hug Ms. Sierra goodbye.” All of my students crowded around me and gave me a group hug for about five minutes. I didn’t think I would cry, but I almost did. One of my students at the bus stop kept holding my arm and saying “Don’t go.” As we walked the kids to the bus, my KT and I agreed it was pretty sad.
Once I made it through the morning, the afternoon was a bit easier. My elementary students, while sweet, are a bit older and took my leaving better. One of my classes showered me with canned coffees, candy, and lots of hugs! In the afternoon, as the day was coming to an end, I returned to my desk to find a gift box and pack of cards on my desk from my students. My KT had my students write goodbye letters to me. It was a really sweet gesture.
I suppose every teacher likes to think he or she has the smartest students in the world. Not having many small children in my family, I’d never spent much time around small children, much less caring for, disciplining, teaching, and doting attention on them. At the start of the year, I wondered what I had gotten myself into, but pretty quickly, my students changed my mind about children and their special place in the world. My favorite student Jason, a 7-year old summed it up best. When I asked him how he felt about our time together ending, he said, “Oh Ms. Sierra, it’s okay. You can always come back and visit!”