Today I gave out classroom rewards. Not a single one was academic. Those will come tomorrow in the big assembly. Instead I tried to focus on something unique to each student. We had "Best Hair" and "Dabbing Cow" and "Most Respectful" and a whole bunch of others. I told them I wanted to write them all a letter titled "Why YOU are my Favorite" but I knew it would make me bawl my eyes out and a soggy lump of paper isn't quite as exciting as an award. I tried to tell a little story about each kid as I awarded them.
Then came my very unexpected reward. They all came and hugged me. They told me they loved me. They hugged me some more. Then they called for a group hug. Then they gave me a hand drawn paper that said "Best Teacher Award Goes to Mrs. Prim". These kids have made me laugh daily. They've both broken my heart with their problems and blessed me with their sweetness. We have jokes, we've shared tears. This class is special.
Part of that is because they were my first "official" class. Mostly, though, it's because they are just an amazing group of kids. I can not wait to watch them grow. I told them I hope if they remember nothing else from our time together that they will always remember "You CAN do hard things."
The school year ending is a bittersweet thing. We're all exhausted and ready for summer break. We're tired of books and learning. But we're all a little sad to know next year will be different. But one thing will be the same, they'll still be amazing!
Thank you all for sharing your kids with me. They became my "kids" for this school year. I talked about them so much people thought I'd somehow had more kids. They stole a part of my heart I'll never get back. They taught me more than they'll ever know. Thank you for raising such amazing kids. I appreciate so much everything each of you have done to support me this year.
Our last group picture of the year!