6/10/11

Never say never. (aka, those tear ducts are working overtime.)


I spent an inordinate amount of time this morning, on our last day of school, putting on my make-up.



I shouldn’t have bothered.



In our elementary school we have some wonderful traditions for the end of the year. One of them is somewhat new, and was brought to us by some young and amazing fifth grade teachers.


Two years ago, when Golden Boy was a fifth grade student here in our building, those teachers thought it would be a great “send-off” to have all the children and professionals in the school line the hallways, and have the fifth graders come down the back steps from their rooms, hi-fiving all the members of our school community as they exited the building for the last time.


We did this the first time that year, and I cried like a baby as I watched Golden Boy and his classmates roll out of the school to the cheers and high-fives of our whole, incredible school community.



Today I watched from a different perspective.



This “graduating” class was the first one we had when we entered this new building. They were an amazing group, and each one holds a special place in my heart.


I stood at the end of the hall, the last teacher before they hit the buses. I opened the doors, placed the wooden blocks under all the doors, and turned.



I saw the hallways lined with children and teachers, and felt a hiccup.



I watched as the fifth grade students made their way down the hall past fourth grade, third grade, second grade, and first grade, until they bid farewell to the kindergarten children and kindergarten teachers who were here when they first entered the building – six years ago.



They ended their elementary career - bidding goodbye to the children who were starting theirs, and the teachers who were there from the start.




It was incredible.



And yes.




I bawled like a baby.





35 comments:

Pastor Sharon said...

Oh stop it. Now, I'm not going to have to take off my make-up. I just cried it off.

That is such an incredible way to send those kids off!

Mrs4444 said...

What a sweet idea. I can see how that would be emotional. Our tradition is for all of the teachers to stand outside and wave goodbye to the school buses as they drive away. For every kid that gives us "the finger," teachers do a shot at the bar later. (This year, it was only two.)

We also blast that "School's Out for Eva'" song over the P.A.. This year, we considered "Take This Job and Shove It" (given the political mess this year) but thought better.

Hm. I think I've just written a couple of great fragments! Thanks. :)

Raquel's World said...

What an awesome idea! I wish our school here did that. I would have cried big time too.

Melissa B. said...

A special time those kids will always remember. You'd be surprised how long you will remain in their hearts. My soon-to-be graduating seniors have been sitting around lately, exchanging tales from their elementary years. They do grow up, but they're still children at heart!

Gayle said...

I just got a bit teary-eyed myself. This last school year sucked for my family and I missed out on the emotions of having a senior and a Kindergartener at the same time. Wish I could turn back time. Enjoy summer. Don't take classes. Don't do anything remotely close to work. Give yourself some knew life experiences and have fun.

Amy said...

What an amazing send off. That is such a huge thing for those kids, leaving that school and moving on to the "bigger and better life". What amazing teachers you all are!

Jill said...

and i just bawled reading this.

even though i can't WAIT to move, i know i'll be crying on my girls last day of school...

Brian Miller said...

sounds like a great end to the year VM...he had at least one good teacher, right? smiles. i'd had you a tissue if i could...

Pink in a sea of blue said...

That made me tear up, too. My son finished kindergarten today and I cried last night! My oldest is now a 5th grader (as of 2:40 p.m.). That is such a neat send off tradition. We have end of year pep rallies where the 5th graders are honored/cheered, but like your idea better!

Cheryl D. said...

That must be the hard part about being a teacher. You get so invested in these kids, then they have to get all uppity and graduate from elementary school! I would think it would be hard.

I ran into my daughter's favorite preschool teacher the other day at Target. I had brought my daughter by the school a couple of months ago, and her teacher was still kvelling about what a big girl she had become!

That Janie Girl said...

Oh, my Lord. I would be a hot, steamy wreck. I bet that was beautiful.

Joanie said...

What a wonderful tradition! I got a little verklempt just reading about it!

WebSavvyMom said...

-->I love that tradition. My baby starts pre-k in the Fall and although he's been in the building next door for daycare for four years, I'll still cry.

Mrs. E said...

Very cool tradition!

Laggin said...

I can see those Fifth grade faces...they'll always remember this.

Everyday Goddess said...

amazing! our school holds a moving up ceremony. i'm already emotional thinking about next year when it will be my daughter's turn.

i love your writing!

SkylersDad said...

What a great tradition, and I would have been crying right along with you.

formerlyonlyamovie said...

I always cry at our school graduation. Love the hallway idea. May steal it.

UrbanCountryMom said...

Oh geez. I would have cried like a baby too. I teared up just reading about it.

Sue said...

My little Riley ended her pre-school journey yesterday at her little graduation. Then we stopped by her "big" school to finish the last of her registration. I pray these years DRAG by! It's got to be tough watching those little ones that have grown up and are now moving on. Bless you and those teachers like you! We need more of you all!!

Take care, Sue

Ginger said...

Just found out your blog.
AND IT IS AWESOME..!!

Kimberly said...

We have a similar tradition, but it also involves having all the buses wait to leave until all staff can make it to the parking lot.

We wave. They wave.

We cry.

Fragrant Liar said...

I bawled just reading about that, Debbie. That is really a great send-off for kids. I'd love to see this in all schools.

I'm calling my lobbyist.

Fragrant Liar said...

P.S. MS4444 had me laughing out loud.

Casey Freeland said...

What an awesome tradition! I love it. My daughter left the only school she's gone to last year when she entered 6th grade. My son will start his last year at that school in the fall. E-MO-SHUN-LLL.

Cheers,

Casey

Krystal said...

You have me crying now reading it!! Great!! Thanks hun!!! But it seems like a great new tradition

aBroad said...

And now I am crying like a baby.
hugs and kisses !

CPass said...

Our high school does that for the graduating seniors on their last day. They start out in the gym (where they pick up their caps and gowns) then walk out together as the underclassmen, teachers, and their parents (and grandparents) line the hallway and clap/cheer them out (and this year there were over 600 graduating seniors)! It's precious

Brenda Susan said...

Now THAT is a wonderful idea! bravo to the teachers who started it! I would have been weeping openly I am sure, just reading it made me feel nostalgic!

Mellodee said...

I just love traditions like that!! It's good to pay attention to success! Those kids will remember being at the top of the heap for the rest of their lives. (Maybe not immediately, but when they get older and look back on the highlights from their lives.)

I would have cried too.

So. Cal. Gal said...

What an awesome idea!

Wild Child said...

Our school gives the fifth graders a breakfast and then runs a slide show of pictures the parents brought in. I didn't realize they'd make it into a mini-graduation too, with certificates for completing through the fifth grade. With the pictures of the little kids turning into big kids, and, even though I knew what pictures I sent, I teared up and nearly lost it. Here's my post on the teary eyes.

lin said...

19 years ago I taught in elementary where this was the tradition--it was wonderful. I moved on to middle school where we have more teary eyed traditions (for me). Each year I say, no crying this time, it never works!

Mary said...

My three-year-old Jaz just "graduated" from her pre-school. The pics, the little ceremony, everything...made me choke up too and feel like such a proud mama!

www.brainburps.asia

Ellie Belen said...

What a great send off. This tradition is so thoughtfully planned out, with meaning, and great showmanship, plus a concrete expression making the fifth graders the rock stars that it is perfect on so many levels.