To my grade 3 class,
I have exactly 31 teaching days with you left. You don’t realize this yet- you are eight years old and the concept of counting down to something other than Christmas is beyond your reality. You are living for soccer at recess and spelling games and Art class on Friday. You live for computer class free time and the moment you realize how to multiply 6 by 7. That’s one of my favourite things about you- you aren’t thinking about tomorrow because you are too busy filling up today.
And you’ve filled up my year beyond my expectations. We acted out the solar system, we wrote pirate stories and created math games. We had dance offs and chuckwagon races in gym and we built secret forts to read in. When we all were hit with the flu, we curled up in balls with stuffed animals all afternoon and watched Bill Nye as he built an odometer. We pretended we were explorers as we navigated maps and we decided to be architects as we built bridges out of popsicle sticks and play dough. We laughed reading Robert Munsch, sang along with Julie Andrews, talked about love and bit our pencils when we wrote our own masterpieces. And when we read The Giving Tree? No one laughed when others cried.
We had a burping contest after learning why the body burps.
There have been endless show and tells and knock knock jokes and band-aids gingerly applied. Hugs and high fives have been countless. When Elizabeth told us she made the soccer team we all cheered, when Jacob broke his arm we all signed his cast with hearts and smiley faces and when Cam puked on Pizza Day, so many of you rushed to get paper towel to help clean up, even Cam cracked a smile. And when we found lice entered the school? We all scratched our head.
Maybe it’s just what happens when you get older, you see past today and look a little further down the road. I can see the last day already- flip-flops and sagging backpacks, popsicle stained lips and sweaty high-fives. Each of you will exclaim as you uncover lost treasures as you pack up your desk- cans of playdough, a lost marker, a postcard from Drew when he went to Legoland in October. I can already see your smiles as you run back to give me one last hug before happily skipping to your bus without looking back. And then I’ll let you go- to summer and tradition and a new teacher in the fall.
So tomorrow there will be 30 days with you left. And I will think of that number as we talk about Shel Silverstein and division and why we use quotation marks. I will smile as you hand me a picture you drew for me- a girl and her teacher both with happy faces and red lips. I will be thankful and laugh as the lunch bell rings and we put on a song I downloaded just because I knew you would love it. I just never realized how much I would end up loving each of you.
Some people grow up and have jobs they never like. Thank you for making me love mine every day. Stay young for as long as possible, play with Lego all summer and listen to your favourite Julie Andrews song on repeat until your brother hides your ipod. Stay just as you are for as long for as you can and when it’s time? I can’t wait for you to grow up. I know you are going to be something spectacular.