When I found out that one of my students was no longer on my attendance roster, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it because school is over next week. This student taught me something about endings: endings can become unexpected at any moment.
I was not prepared to see him go because I thought that, as is typical with the end of the school year, my students and I would part on the same day for our summer breaks. So this kiddo got his special time of grieving from me.
I saw this student transform from a student who didn’t complete his assignments to a student that did, from a student who I constantly called out for behavior problems to a student who greeted me enthusiastically as he arrived to class.
Why this student was no longer on my roster, I didn’t find out until this week. He never told me he was moving. When I asked his classmates why he left school, they said that they didn’t know. It turns out that he’s now doing online school.
What this student will never know is that when I was a first-year teacher, he was part of the first set of students I taught. This will make that particular set of students unforgettable. These students taught me how to be a better teacher, how to be patient and firm, and how to set high expectations.
I saw this student on an almost-daily basis for 1.5 years. He became like family.
The motherly quality about being a teacher is that you always wish the best for your students as if they are you own children. You wish to protect them from pain they may encounter in the future.
So the loss of one student before the end of the school year hit me hard. It was an unexpected, meaningful, and unforgettable ending.