In first grade, part of our morning routine is to keep track of the number of days we’ve been in school as well as the number of days we have left. We do this in order to practice number concepts and patterns. However, it is also a good reminder of how far we have come.
My emotions kick in as we do this countdown. Usually I begin to get a tight stomach with around 60 days to go. It makes me start to wonder if we have come far enough or if there is enough time for me to get them where I want them to be by summer. Then, around the 45 day mark, I start to get a sad heart. This is when it really sets in that the end is near. Soon I won’t be around these children all day, every day. It always baffles me trying to figure out how am I supposed to be okay with essentially cutting off contact with children who I have not only spent the last 175 days with 8 hours a day, but also have thought about them continuously over weekends and vacations. Then you also have to add in the days during the summer that I spend preparing for the coming year. That makes for a long and strong relationship that just ends abruptly because it’s the “last day of school”. Ugh!
So, as people often discuss how hard it is to be a teacher, it is actually the point when you stop teaching that is the hardest each year.