Five months ago, I told myself I wouldn’t get attached. This was just temporary.
Five months later, I ended our Zoom session, grabbed the last tissue in the box on my desk and I sat in my quiet office and let the tears flow. The tears came for a student I have never met in real life but has found a special place in my heart since we’ve spent day after day of Distance Learning together.
Now, he’s going back to school-the building. School will be good for him. But, distance learning was good for him too. He found his voice, shy and reluctant to speak up in September, he now regularly raises his hand and participates in breakout rooms with friends. Friends. They have forged friendships and care about one another. These were the pieces I didn’t anticipate, we are connected.
He learned to read on Zoom…really read. I often kept him after class for extra time to read together. He showed me that I can teach kids to read virtually. We celebrated all the great things he has learned to do as a reader. I knew he could do it.
Today, we said goodbye. We had a final countdown at the end of our day together. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The kids yelled “Bye!” over and over. They started to log off. He made a heart with his hands. My eyes filled with tears. One by one, the kids disappeared and he stayed.
Just the two of us.
“Thank you for being my teacher,” he said, his toothless grin wide and proud.
“Thank you for being my student,” I said as I made a heart with my hands.
Then we was gone…
and the tears spilled over.