I underestimated them, once again. I never, even in the best case scenario, thought they would be this understanding or this well behaved....or this eager to keep in touch.
I cried, they cried. I started by telling them how proud I was of them, pointed out individual growth in each student and as they clapped I cried....I could see on their faces that they knew, and by the time I uttered the words, "but I won't be teaching here next year," no one was really surprised.
The first thing they asked was if they could still call, and email. "You better," I said.
And when I told them I would take a day off to come to their graduation, they gave each other high fives and cheered.
My babies - loyal to the end.
And so began the exchange of myspace info and email and hi5 accounts and 30 minutes later I had made them fully capable of stalking me forever - just the way I want it.
By the time I got home half of them had already added me to their MSN, made novel because it was something I hadn't allowed earlier in the year.
They need to stay in touch as much as I do.....and as the end of the day came with pleads to stay one more year, I knew that they would be okay....and so would I....and that a year from now I'll be returning to watch the remainder of my kids walk across the stage....
I couldn't be more proud.