My seniors just left for the day. I have 5 classes left with them before their AP exam, and 12 classes left before the year is over. I am having a harder time now than in the past saying goodbye.
What is so special about the majority of my seniors is that I had most of them when they first entered high school as freshmen. They were in my first Pre-AP classes in 9th grade. Most continued on through the AP tract to rejoin me their last year, as high school seniors, in my advanced placement class. Some, however, decided to drop down to college-bound English during their 10th or 11th grade year, which means I had a handful last year, as well. Some I've grown especially attached to I had for three of their four years of high school. And some merely roped me in this last year of their high school career.
And now it is time to say goodbye.
I hate to say that I'm not quite ready to let them go. I'm not prepared to not be present in their lives. I'm certainly not ready for them to forget me, though I know I have to accede that I am not the foremost thought in their lives. I feel completely invested in their futures. I hope for them to be successful, to grow, to achieve their potential. I want for them to find their feet and their place in this world. I hope they will come visit me and stay in touch and continue to let me know how they fare.
This is my blog, but the post is not about me - it is about the students, the investment I and every teacher put in to their lives and futures, and it is about letting go. And as difficult as this is for me, I am still excited for all they will experience as they grow, bloom, and live. And I can only hope I've done what I need to to ensure their success and happiness as they reach their roots down and rise up to meet their individual suns.