I passed out the letters that I wrote them and asked them to open them at home. I had important things I wanted to share, but I was afraid of getting really upset by saying them out loud..so I wrote them down.
It was tough to say goodbye because these are women that I see more often and spend more time with than my own family. They have been my moms, my friends, and my mentors for the past three years and I will miss them dearly.
After our hugs and goodbyes I went to my school and met up with the teacher who is taking over my room. I showed her all of the curriculum stuff in the cabinets and what stuff is where. We spent some time talking about how things work in first grade and about what she might do in the room when she sets it up. One of the other first grade teachers I had lunch with had come to the school as well to work on setting up her calendar for next school year. When she was finished, she came in to say goodbye. I knew this was going to be the toughest one....
Linda was the first person from the school to reach out to me during the summer after I got my job. She took on the role as my official mentor and coached me through everything as I embarked on my first real teaching job. All three of the teachers I worked with were phenomenal and taught me different things about being a good teacher, but since Linda was the first one that I met, there was always a special connection. We sat in my classroom for about 45 minutes just talking...about the changes that are taking place in my life, about how exciting it will be...a little bit of everything. It wasn't sad, it was just nice. A conversation with a good friend and a great teacher. When we both realized we had to get home, we walked out to the parking lot together and she gave me a big hug. She started to cry and I knew that I was about to. I can hold up okay until the other person starts crying and then I lose it. I told her not to cry because I will be back to visit and it's not like I won't ever see her again. That seemed to make her feel better. It is pretty amazing to see experienced teachers, women with families, children, grandchildren and many life experiences crying because I am leaving. It makes me feel pretty proud of the co-worker and friend that I have been to them. It is a true reciprocal relationship that was special to each of us.
I will miss those three ladies so much, I can't even express it!