You know those butterflies you get in your stomach right before something big happens? Whether it's good, bad, happy, or sad, your insides are somersaulting as you prepare for that big moment. That's exactly how I feel as I lay here in bed thinking about the fact that tomorrow is my last day in my first student teaching placement.
I had to say goodbye to two students who won't be in school tomorrow, and it was hard enough to hold myself together for that. I can't even imagine what it will be like tomorrow when I need to say goodbye to everyone all at once.
I'm really sad that my cooperating teacher isn't going to be here for my last day, but you just can't choose when you get pneumonia. It's funny, because I felt like I was trying to prove myself to her for so long that I didn't appreciate the relationship that was forming with her at first. It has only been in the most recent weeks that I've realized how much I'm going to miss her as well.
My dad asked me tonight if I was excited for the placement to be over. "You made it," I think were his exact words. And yes, I did make it. I'm now only half a semester away from graduation, from becoming a grown-up and heading into the real world. I'm starting my second placement with kindergarten on Monday, and I can't wait to start working with them. I'm excited for all of the next steps that I'll be taking. But I couldn't be any further from excited as I think about saying goodbye to the 24 kids who have shown me what teaching is really like. Through the ups and the downs, the math quizzes and ELA lessons, the parties and the chatter that they just can't seem to control, I have learned so much about myself and the career that I have wanted to step into for so long. No matter what happens in the future, this will always be my first group of students. This will be the class that I look back on and think about how my career first began. So I know that I can get through the goodbyes tomorrow because I get through the goodbyes with all of my foster siblings, but much like with all of my siblings, I know I won't be able to think about anything else but these kids for weeks to come. Just because I'm moving on to a new classroom, doesn't mean that these kids will lose the spot that they have taken over in my heart.
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