Today was the final day of school. This was a difficult year on many levels. I had a student pass away in October who was so very dear to my heart and I miss her terribly. The room hasn't been the same since her passing and she is remembered in little things we do daily which is so painful to bare. There were some other intense issues I won't get into - overall just a stressful year that I must say I am glad to see come to an end so that I can look forward to a new year next year. That is the great thing about teaching, if a year goes badly it doesn't keep dragging on, you always get a do-over.
The mother of the student of mine who passed away came in to visit today and wrote me the sweetest card of appreciation and that meant so much to me, it is wonderful to feel appreciated. It was so nice of her to take the time to do that, to go out of her way like that and allow us to remember her daughter on the last day of school with her, together.
I work so hard all school year, pour my heart out to these students, go to training to become a better educator, change diapers, get spit on, hair pulled, bit, scratched,manage para professionals (which can get VERY stressful at times), deal with the paper work and politics, shed tears of frustration, it goes with the territory. I also get hugs, kisses, love, admiration of my students, and most importantly I get to watch them grow as people academically and socially. Being a special education teacher it is all about baby steps, but it is awesome to see my students take those baby steps.
On the last day of school it is always so wonderful to see all of the teachers get showered with gifts, get cards from the students and parents showing how much they are appreciated. I go to the store with my children and always pick out nice gifts for their teachers and most importantly write a nice letter about how much I appreciated all they did for my child. As a special educator I often feel unappreciated. It isn't the gifts that mean anything to me, it is the cards, the "thank you's", that is what I eat up. This year I got one card, just one. Sometimes you just need that pat on the back, especially after a hard year like this one has been. I am so thankful for the mother that came in today and took the time to thank me for caring for her daughter and the things I taught her, I cherish those, they mean so much, they make me feel my job is appreciated, and isn't that what all of us need at times?