adding ginger to your sass

GingerSass - adding ginger to your sass

Breaking up sucks.

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.

Google apparently only thinks teachers tell their students when they're leaving or pregnant.

Google apparently only thinks teachers tell their students when they’re leaving or pregnant.

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.


When it comes to my collection of books, I revert to being a selfish little kid. I’ve always been extremely proud of my love of reading, and I don’t share my books very easily. In fact, the last time I shared my books, I lent a “friend” from college my Jacobian Shakespeare books for a Shakespeare course and she never even returned them. That killed our friendship. The mere thought of sharing my books sends me into an irrational state of panic.

So, when I decided to share some of my collection of poetry books with my students this week for Creative Writing Week, including a few signed and limited editions, I was shaking before I even entered the classroom.

a suitcase full of some of my poetry books

a suitcase full of some of my poetry books

My relationship with my students has morphed into something beautiful. Even the fact that I was willing to share my most prized possessions with my students showed me how much love and trust I have for my kiddos. After I gave them all the schpiel on how big of a deal it was that I was sharing my books with them, I only had to ask a couple of kids to treat my books better.

Yesterday was the last day of classes before Final Exams, and I’m still feeling “some type of way.” This first year of teaching has had its ups and its downs, but most of all it’s had a ton of learning experiences in so many aspects of my life. I gave my kids all bracelets that read “I survived Ms. Barbour’s class” and we all had A Moment…every period. These kiddos will always have a special place in my heart, and I’m so lucky to have had them as my students this year. I’m also lucky they didn’t destroy my books.