The last day is never fun. The kids are ramped up… feeling anxious, sad, excited, you name it. It’s not a good mix. At my school, my sprouts meet their first grade teacher on the last day too, which just works them up even more. It’s a fast, sometimes chaotic day and yet I’m sad when it’s over.

In what other grade but kindergarten do they kids say they are genuinely sad school is over? We tried to have as normal a day as possible, but really, it didn’t happen. The hugs were more frequent and much tighter. One little guy almost hurt me he hugged me so tightly… there were no complaints from me.

I almost started to cry at one moment… it was towards the end of the day, they were all shoving the last bits of paper and memorabilia into their backpacks… the classroom got very loud and noisy and I just stood there looking at them all and got overwhelmed with emotion. For the record, I snapped out of it, but it almost happened… almost.

To make matters worse, one of my dear friends was leaving our school today. I stayed to help her pack her room up and tried to bring a little laughter to the sadness of the situation… I got a few chuckles out of her and the others helping, but really, it was all just a show. When I finally got a moment alone with her, I gave her a big hug, kissed her gently on the cheek, and told her I’d see her soon. Goodbyes are no fun.

As luck would have it, the last few itty-bitty friends to leave are some of the most affectionate. No asking for hugs from these characters. They asked me to walk them out to the bus line, something I don’t normally do… today I did. As two of them took my hands, I thought, ‘Wow, another year gone.’ They will visit me next year early and often. I’ll have a new batch of fresh sprouts to nurture. I’ll miss my class, but I know they have the skills (academic and social) to be successful. I’m a teacher… I gave them my all.