A Beginning Teacher’s Journey: Part Three

I knew this day was coming and I’ve been preparing myself for quite a while, but it didn’t make my last day of school this year any easier. Sure, I’m excited for summer vacation but I had to say goodbye to the students, staff and school community that has taken over my time, my mind and my heart for the past year and a half.

Out of all the challenges of being a new teacher in an LTO position, this is the biggest challenge – being able to embrace change and say goodbye to something you love. IMG_1076

A good teacher teaches from the heart, and when you teach from the heart you become personally and emotionally invested in your students and your school. My students became like my very own kids this year. I gave them everything I had. I quickly grew to love them and they grew to love me. I invested endless energy into their success and wellbeing. I had a special bond with every one of them and made a point of being an important part of their lives. I had beautiful professional and personal relationships with my colleagues and I dedicated myself entirely to the school community. It became my home and I absolutely loved everything about it.

Yesterday was my last day at my school, as I will most likely be working elsewhere next year. My students showered me with goodbye cards, endless hugs and a lot of tears [many of them mine]. To be completely honest, I’m struggling with the feeling of loss. I feel like I’m leaving a huge piece of my heart behind, and I am – but that’s good teaching, right?

It will be hard for me not to get to watch my kids continue to grow and learn after our year together. I will wonder how they’re doing and who they grow up to be. I will worry about the ones that needed me the most, and miss being there to cheer them on.

The experience of being a new teacher and never really knowing where you’re headed next can be emotionally exhausting. As someone who doesn’t overly enjoy change, it can be difficult to not to let it get to me. I know that this is all part of the journey, and that with each new and different experience I have I will grow as a teacher and as a person. The prospect of starting new at a new school, and probably in a new grade is exciting, too. I have learned so much this year and can’t wait to put my new learning into action.

For now, I know I will spend a lot of time missing my students, my colleagues and being a part of an amazing school community.

And the [best?] part is, I will probably feel this way at the end of next year too.


Updated: June 30, 2017 — 6:33 pm

The Author

Laura Bottrell

Laura is an LTO teacher with HWDSB. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Youth & Children's Studies and is a Registered Early Childhood Educator. Laura is currently enjoying another year of teaching Kindergarten after teaching 2/3 and 5/6! With a passion for the arts, Laura is an advocate for the arts in education and is currently the director of a theatre performance program for Kindergarten aged students!

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