Today was the last day at school. There is still the official graduation and that's it... I must stay that I am still overwhelmed with all the love I continue to be showered with. I have a history of pretty low self-esteem, on which I've been working through therapy for the past two years. It's only this year really when I started to feel more confident in my professional skills, in being a good teacher. But still I wasn't thinking much of myself, and I knew that my way of dealing with students is not the easiest to be much beloved. I am not the fluffy bunny, I never let whine about other teachers and bad mouth them (unless it's a serious sharing during advisory and constructive discussion on dealing with a problem). I am rather coldish, I don't hug, I don't giggle or squee. I dont' share much of my private life, I am sarcastic and quite strict, I think. I do joke a lot, as I have quite a sense of humor... but I have no problem with being deadly serious, kick out a kid for detention or go hard on someone. And still.. the words I've been hearing from my kids over the past few months, and especially the past few days... they melt even my Polish soul. Some kids would come and hang out in my room for no reason, as if unable to leave and go home... One kids said she was not looking forward to the end of the year, because I wouldn't be there the next one... Even the "cool and tough" kids came to me to share more feelings that they ever did before... I got beautiful, funny or heart breaking words written in my year book autographs booklet. I know I will be coming back to it often, to keep me going, whenever I would feel down or losing my faith in my teaching skills.
I have made custom cards for some of my kids. Snapfish is really cool for that. I chose some quotes on one side, my own photo on front and back, and wrote a personal note to each of the students. I chose to do that for my advanced classes, as I have been with them longer and have had absolutely blast of a year... I also gave each to my freshmen advisees. I seriously care for each and every one of them, even if each of them was at least once a royal pain in the butt :) One kid, who has pathological approach to writing anything, wrote a whole paragraph for me... I still need to decipher parts of his handwriting, but just the length of it made me fly to the sky.
It's really difficult to leave, but if I weren't, would I even found out how much I am liked? I think it's the first time that I feel it, from so many people... colleagues, kids, parents. I try to treasure the moments, store them and learn to believe in myself more.