Today, I broke up with my students.
A few weeks ago, my supervisor asked me to take over a college-level writing course when another teacher leaves to teach abroad in the new year. The catch is that I’ll be trading two of my periods for the two periods of this class.
I had to wait for different approvals to go through, and for different red tape to be crossed, but, at the end of last week, the change became officially approved.
I knew it was coming, but that didn’t stop me from crying in my car the entire commute home.
You see, I genuinely love my kids this year. There’s not a single one I can imagine my school year without, and to have it confirmed that I’ll be losing 52 students (two periods worth) genuinely hurts.
I also love these kids enough to know that this transition is going to suck for the both of us. It will work out in the end, but, in a district where so many of the kids have dependency issues and emotional reliances on their teachers and adult role models, the kids are going to have a tough time with the news. I knew they needed to know ASAP, so I drafted a letter to their parents and guardians, and made today Doomsday.
I spent an unreasonable chunk of time Googling “how to tell your students you’re leaving” this weekend as well. If you ever have the misfortune of Googling this, this post and this post are helpful. Nothing else is. These are geared towards youth pastors, but I found them to be true for urban ed teachers.
In my first class, I felt sick to my stomach. I couldn’t hide my nerves, and, when I told them that my supervisor had asked me to teach another class in the new year, they started crying. Crying. I didn’t know what to expect, except maybe irrational teenager screaming and arguing, but I didn’t expect crying. That made ME cry. I jokingly yelled at them for making me cry, and one student sniffled and said, “But Miss. You care about us!”
Then, the next class cried too. I cried more. We all cried. Then laughed. Then cried. Then they wrote a petition, and I told them they were acting like immature teenagers, and they laughed and rolled their eyes at me, and then we laugh/cried some more.
Today was emotional.
You see, I do care about my students. As I told them today, whether it be in January when they get a new teacher, or whether it be 20-something years from now when I hopefully have teenagers of my own, my kids will always be my kids. Nothing changes that for a teacher, ever.
I’m currently an emotional wreck, as emails of support and sadness have been pouring in from parents and guardians tonight. I’m glad I wrote a letter to them, as it shows the level of respect and love I still have for both them and their students. I’m just overwhelmed by the respect and love they’re giving back to me.
Breaking up with students sucks.