The last day of school is always bittersweet.
This year, the kids arrived at school as usual. They entered the classroom with music playing and lights flashing, and before we knew it, we were watching our year-ending slide show - all the pictures I've taken of the class, this year, set to appropriate farewell music.
Timed just right, the yearbooks were distributed, and we walked to the gym for our traditional signing. I thought the line at my "station" would never end. I signed my autograph and wrote personal notes in dozens of books.
After a time, the fifth graders made their ceremonial walk through the halls. Our class joined others to line the walls and applaud the outgoing senior members of our school.
A recess, some lunch, and we were ready for speeches. Hoggatteers, standing before the class, looked their classmates in the eyes and told them how much they appreciated them. They recognized how far everyone had come, and they said goodbye to some of their Hoggatteer family members for the last time.
Friends, it takes something special to create an atmosphere in which students at school feel like they have such dear relationships with one another and with their teacher. In these latest years of my career, I have looked forward to this last day - not because I get the summer off (That's a myth!), but because this is the day I get to see my students step up and express their love. They encourage each other in unexpected ways...
...and I wouldn't have it any other way.