Today was my last day at Caxton.
I knew I would be sad, but I had no idea how sad I really would be. Those kids were my life these last 4 weeks, and the fact that I will never see them again is absolutely breaking my heart. Wanting to teach younger kids, I had no idea that these Year 4 (or third graders in American terms) would capture my heart as much as they did, but instead, they captured my heart more than I thought possible.
For the last couple days, the kids have been clinging onto me at all times, saying “why you have to go?!” in their cute little English-as-a-second-language voices. One little girl even told me she was going to put me in a box and keep me in her house so I could stay there forever. Yes, you heard right. She was going to PUT ME IN A BOX. Another little girl said she hopes my plane crashes so I can stay in Spain. I told her, unfortunately, if my plane crashes, I will no longer be living, so let’s not hope for that. She replied by saying that my seat would magically fly back to Spain and I would be okay, but I would have to stay in Spain with them forever and ever.
These children were probably the cutest little things I have ever been around. Their little British-Spanish accents were beautiful, as they said things like “how many years do you have?” and called girls a “he” because their English grammar is not the best, obviously. They were constantly hugging me, telling me how much they love me and asking me to stay “one day more” (don’t you want to start singing Les Mis after hearing that?). They began a competition of who could make me the best keychains and bracelets, and I ended my Practicum with 10 bracelets and 17 keychains. Do you think I have enough?
I could probably sit here for HOURS and talk about how blessed I am to have worked with this beautiful group of 26 Year4 children. They loved me, and taught me so much about teaching and about working with children. Teaching in a classroom with children who speak Spanish but are learning English from the British is probably one of the most uncomfortable situations I’ve ever been in, but it did nothing but grow me and help me in countless ways. These children spend all day, every day, speaking a language that is not their native tongue, and they do it so effortlessly and with such perserverance, it makes me feel bad for all those times I gave up and gave in whenever things got rough.
Just sitting here and thinking about leaving them is making me want to cry and smile at the same time. They all gave me a hug, one by one (after knocking me to the ground with a group one), saying their goodbyes as I kissed their heads and wished them well. They held onto me (literally held, these children don’t let go) for 20 minutes as I worked my way slowly (you can’t move fast with 13 children dangling off your arm) to my bus. When they looked up at me, their faces were of the most adoration and of the strongest sadness, and I am sure my face looked the same way. These children changed my life, and reminded me exactly why I want to teach. Fair warning, if you come up to me and ask me to tell you about them, I will probably never stop talking (and will show you pictures like the proud parent I am).
So here’s to my kids. You all left a beautiful mark on my heart that will remain there forever. So “Good Afternoon Friends,” as I say everyday to them before they leave, and you know I’ll have a good afternoon too.
^ I clearly won the unspoken competition of “teachers with most rubber bands on body”
^ all the Practicum 2 students at Caxton on our last day!
^ so glad to have this girl at Caxton with me!
^ Caroline and Anna, my fellow practicum students in Year 4 with me. I could not have done this practicum without these two! From our excessive amounts of breaks, to birds flying into our classrooms, from getting yelled out by lunch ladies to always having 2 permanent friends across the hall to stare at while teaching, you two have been my rock at Caxton. Thank you ❤