Friday, June 13, 2014

Saying Goodbye at the End of the Year

Tissues were a necessity as I wrote my spring progress reports this year. Unlike homeroom teachers who create a sense of family with their students over one school year, as a specialist I see students for short periods of time over several years. There are great moments of empathy and community in the art room and it is hard to say goodbye once my students move on. Memories of certain kids will stay with me for a long time.

Twisted black tissue paper for chimney smoke, a cut paper vegetable garden,
tissue paper flowers, kids' self portraits looking out of the window,
and a mailbox made the Kindergarten House complete!
Remembering one boy's frequent struggles back in Kindergarten I realize that he is still not an "art kid," but his confidence and comfort with taking creative risks has grown. His entire grade transformed a giant cardboard box into a house for the school art show that year. Angrily twisting a piece of black tissue paper, he said "I can't do it. I can't do anything." I remember seeing him, if only momentarily, light up when I attached his twisted paper as smoke from the chimney.

This year, he visited several Kindergarten art classes. As a helper with the younger students he took over some of the demonstrations in the beginning of classes and would go around offering praise and encouragement as students worked on their projects! I hope this student continues to be a problem solver and mentor to younger students.

It is difficult to say goodbye to students at the end of the year--especially students who struggled and eventually succeeded.


Parents and teachers, what does the end of the school year feel like to you?

Specialist teachers, are you ever envious of the time that homeroom teachers have with their students?

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