It wasn’t our final good-bye.
It wasn’t even the last day of school.
But it was the last day we were together. I called for the “bus kids” to line up and high-fived them out the door.
“See you Monday!” I chirped as you skipped and shuffled out the door.
I walked the “car riders” out to meet the parents and happily waved good-bye to you.
I didn’t realize that we wouldn’t get to see each other face-to-face again this year. For a kindergartner, 7 weeks is a long time to go without seeing your teacher in person. The next time you see me in person, you will be a little shy and unsure of what to do, even though we both will be happy and excited to see each other.
To my kindergarten friends…
If I had known, I would have hugged you just a little longer and held on just a little bit tighter at the door.
I would have watched my words carefully that day, that whole week, that whole month.
I would have been slower to show frustration at running feet, loud voices, and sticky fingers.
I would have waited longer while you searched in your head for the right words to say.
I would have taken more time with that subtraction story, spent a few more minutes reading the next chapter that you wanted to hear so badly.
I would have given you your journals to take home, because you are so proud of your hard work. You are skilled authors, and the world is waiting to hear your stories.
I would have laughed a little louder at your silliness and smiled a little bigger at your giggles.
I would have said, “I love you!” a little bit louder to be heard over the din of your packing up, your busy classroom chores, and your focus on the tasks at hand.
I would have listened more carefully while you sang “God Bless America,” and I would have reveled in the sound of your sweet voices lifted together in song.
I would have been more patient with that crazy lunchroom. I would have explained more carefully why we should eat calmly and clean up after ourselves.
I would have taken another class picture, and then another, and probably a few more.
I would have let you stay outside for just a few more minutes at recess, because you love to run so much.
I would have gotten out the sidewalk chalk.
Oh, yeah. And the bubbles.
I would have let you sing as loudly as you wanted to during hand-washing time.
I would not have been satisfied with anyone “just not getting it,” and I would have been a little more urgent with my intervention lesson.
I would have sent you home with all the crayons, glue, paper, and pencils that I could stuff in your backpack.
And then I would have given you as many books and magazines to read as I could.
I would have done all of those things and more if I had known it was going to be the last day we’d get to be all together in one classroom.
But I should have done it anyway; that’s what a teacher is supposed to do.
Mrs. Givens loves you.