Today and yesterday were my last days with my fifth graders.
Some of these kids, I’ve worked with for a year or two. Others, we’ve been together for three, four, even five years.
There is so much change that happens over the span of that time. Add our shared experiences living through COVID and its aftermath, and what you have is an incredibly strong, wise, tight-knit group of young folks.
On our last day together, it just so happens that we used the time to finish up our class read-aloud: Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s classic, The Little Prince. It’s one of those texts that I consider to be a “benchmark book,” a story that I like reading at various points in my life as a way to measure how I have grown and changed, a book that speaks to me anew with the wisdom and experience I gather over time.
And reading the book today, it hit me differently. Yes, I’m happy and excited for my fifth-grade students to move on to whatever comes next in their lives, but there is also that theme of letting go. And just like the pilot who will forever look at the stars and hear laughter, so will I be reminded of these amazing humans in ways large and small.
At the end of class, I took a couple of moments to thank the class for the time we spent together, to express my gratitude for the chance to learn with – and from! – them. What could I even say to sum it all up? And then, these words came into my head so naturally, words that will be familiar to those of you who’ve read The Little Prince:
“You tamed me.”
Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers and their weekly Slice of Life Challenge. Check them out!