I have never in my life seen so many students crying. Today was the last day my kids were in school, and you know how in the States kids get super excited? My kids cried. I would like to believe that it’s because I am an amazing teacher and they will miss me so much, but really, it’s not that.
First of all, they have a flare for drama–it is what makes my Mexican students so lovable, fun, and frustrating. So when the waterworks started in one kid, I knew it was because he is moving in about three weeks to Monterrey. When two girls started crying, I knew it was because their home lives are a little lonely. But then, it was like an epidemic. Before I knew it, half of my class had teared up, and this hormonal teacher started crying too.
Now, here’s the thing. I love my students. I care about them. I have enjoyed them. I will even miss them to a degree. But I am NOT sad that it is the last day of school!! While other first year teachers have been telling me how sad they are all week, I have bit my tongue. Because saying, “Oh, well, that will change!” isn’t something a first year teacher likes to hear or believe. I remember. So I didn’t say it. But I sure did think it! So these tears? I attribute them to hormones. I knew crying would just make things worse, so I choked them back and hid them from the kiddos.
THEN, we went to dismissal. A older student found out that his cousin died. Someone called his mom while they were sitting there waiting, and I was alerted by his tone of voice.
“Que paso? Que paso?” he said urgently. Then he broke down. I was worried. I was sad. But I didn’t know him–so I was able to walk away dry-eyed when I saw he was being taken care of by the counselor. Until I started thinking about that poor mama. Oh, my! If I were to lose my Bebita! Ah! I can’t even stand to think about it!!
I calmed down–and returned to normal.
Then, my little boy who is moving came back with his mom.
“He is sad, because he is going to miss you,” she said, “He doesn’t want to leave.”
“Oh! You’ll have so much fun!” I assured him. Before I knew it, the mama was tearing up. I looked at her a little worried and confused.
I asked, “Are you okay?”
She nodded towards her son and said, “It’s just because…”
I sprung another leak. I finally understand! I used to think my Mama was silly when she would look so hurt when we were sick or hurting. It always kinda made me laugh. Never again! I get it! And while the office staff, other parents, my co-teachers, and students looked on, I stopped holding it back.
And there we stood, us three, crying over the last day of school (kind of).