Attached.

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.

12 thoughts on “Attached.

  1. Aren’t the connections powerful? I had no idea how much I loved these kids until they started leaving. I’ve had so many tears this week (mine and theirs and even a few from the parents). I’ve also had so many beautiful moments watching the other kids share their love as they found ways to say goodbye to their friends. We have created some really special communities in our virtual spaces. I’m so proud of us for that. And I agree with you, the kids are growing academically and socially. I’m so glad we are figuring out how to do this work together. You are an amazing teacher, friend, and colleague.

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  2. You are a gift of a teacher — you make sure kids know they matter and that they can. You make sure parents and families know they also matter and your belief in their children makes it’s way to them…into their homes. How selfishly you loved and taught him and are letting him go because you know what’s best for him…yes, you are a gift of a teacher.

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  3. This melted my heart. You must be a wonderful teacher to have that kind of an impact on the kids and to have fostered such friendhsips. It’s a blessing to see kids open up and a double blessing if you have had something to do with it. Sending warm hugs.

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  4. You have done amazing work to develop such a community in your virtual classroom. My last online student returned in November and I know they felt a bond with their online class. Home is where we find it!

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  5. The dust in this room is getting into my eyes and making it hard to type! 😉

    This slice is what our teaching is all about, that idea of connections regardless of the distance between us. And this slice is what makes me so irritated when I hear “students are falling behind” because you’ve created a classroom where kids are learning online and thriving!

    Keep smiling and doing the awesome things you are doing. They are making a difference!

    Thank you for sharing this slice with us! 🙂

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    1. The way I see it, some kids might be falling behind but it’s because of the systems schools and districts have put in place. Find a way to teach the kids. Also, we have to expect that they can. I think the falling behind line is a crutch and it’s not doing kids any favors. Thanks for reading and getting me fired up!

      Liked by 1 person

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