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How do you sum up the end of student teaching?

I’ve spent the past few days trying to gather my words, but the truth is I can’t. I don’t know how to put my thoughts into words. Student teaching is over, and I feel as if I’ve lost a part of me.

Thursday was rough, even though student teaching ended on Friday. Most of my students told me that they wouldn’t be in class on Friday, as their parents wanted them to stay home for the end of the world. One girl even told me that her mom “would rather her be raped in killed at home than in school.” Rather than conduct a psychological evaluation of this student, I decided to just nod my head and say “Ummm okay. Happy New Year?”

As a conclusion of my time student teaching, I selfishly plotted for my Creative Writing class to hold a coffeehouse on Thursday as a conclusion to our performance poetry unit. (This is the class that Pandora Scooter came to visit.) The students went above and beyond all expectations. Poems were read, poetry was acted out, and my students kicked major butt. Some of them also chose to read poems dedicated to me, which was sweet and embarrassing all at once. It worked out, though, because I had written them a poem as well.

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We took a class photo on Wednesday and I am obligated to blur out their faces…but you can still tell how dang stylish they are.

One of my students, the one I’ve written about before, gave me a goodbye gift on Thursday. It was my first “teacher gift,” and I’ll forever hold it close to my heart. It’s a beautifully bound journal with the phrase “Live in Hope” written on the front because “I give her hope in herself.”

I was very close to crying at the end of that class period, and it didn’t help when some of my students hugged me goodbye. I couldn’t help but think I’d be a hot mess on Friday.

On Friday, I somehow made it to the very end of the day without crying.

I stayed up almost all night on Thursday baking for the ladies in the office, my students, and the faculty at my school, as well as writing out individual holiday cards to each and every one of my students.

I went into school early, placed a cake in the faculty room, and sent out the following message:

To everybody at __HS–

Thank you for making my student teaching experience such a pleasant one. You have all made me feel like part of the __HS family, and I am grateful to have spent my student teaching internship in ________________________. I’m going to miss all of you! As a thank you for the kindness and warmth you have shown me, I have left a cake in the faculty room to express my gratitude. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful holiday season, and a happy and healthy 2013! I hope to see you all again in the near future.

All my best,
Kailynn

I really do feel as if the school has become my second family, and I really don’t know what I’m going to do without them.

I knew Friday would be sad, but I didn’t expect so many people to remember it was my last day. Students and faculty all gave me gifts to wish me a merry Christmas or commemorate my last day of student teaching.

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I can’t remember the last time I felt this loved.

All day long my students showed me an incredible amount of love. One student from my first period class came back to see me 5 times because she didn’t want me to leave. Another student shyly gave me a gift, apologized for it, and mumbled how she had saved up to buy me something nice, that she was sorry it was so small. (She bought me a beautiful pair of fluffy pink socks, which will forever mean more to me than any other gift because I know how hard she worked to get it for me.)

It was very hard not to cry when some of my students started getting teary eyed in class. Around 3am on Friday I had begun to regret my decision to write out individual, heart-felt messages to each of my students, but all of that regret was wiped away when I saw (and heard) their excitement in getting personalized holiday cards. Some students squealed, one girl said she was going to cry, one boy actually couldn’t believe that I took the time to write out a card for each and every student, and most of the students were really excited that I wrote out cards for them. One kid even said, “I never got my own Christmas card before! Missssss!” I really did try to write something different for each and every student, and, although I reached a point of being pretty generic around 2am on Friday, I pretty much succeeded. The students were also elated that I wanted to keep in touch with them and had included my “Teacher Twitter” and email address for them to stay in touch with.

I received a lot of hugs on Friday, along with a lot of love and warmth. I’ve already started receiving emails from my students, and I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do without them in the upcoming weeks. Student teaching was an influential part of my life, and I know now more than ever that I am destined to be a teacher, specifically in an urban district where students need me the most.

Gosh I love teaching.

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