“Hey, Mr. G, tomorrow’s my last day.”
“Your last day before fall break?” I asked to clarify.
“No, my last day here. I’m moving.” was the reply I received.
This was the second time in as many weeks that I’d heard from a student who was moving out of our district. And twice in two weeks that my heart sank. So many times, as educators, we get caught up in the test scores, district, initiatives, state initiatives, interventions, differentiation, gap closing, etc., that we forget that teaching is about so much more. We all know it because it is a large part of the reason that we got into teaching. We didn’t start in this field to increase test scores; we chose this field to make a difference. Making a difference is accomplished through developing relationships. I guess we know that we’re doing that right when our hearts sink when we hear that a student is moving.
In the grand scheme of things, we have no control over how long a student is in our care. Some students spend their entire academic careers in one school district. Some students hardly seem to spend one whole year in a school district before moving on. Some students leave and then return. As we look across our classes, we can’t know for sure which students belong in which category. That type of categorizing is a waste of time anyway–all of our students need our best selves every day (a phrase I learned from Marva Collins). Each day may be the last day we have with any of our students. What will you do today to show your students how much you care? Will you be like Linda Cliatt-Wayman, reminding your students every day, “If no one told you today that they love you, remember I do and I always will.” Maybe you won’t say it quite that way. Will you live it out so that your students know you love them?