End of the Year Letter

Below is the end of the year letter I will be reading to my class tomorrow on their last day of second grade.  The word that continues to come to mind as a season fades is bittersweet.  Sweet; as I escape the emotional challenges and mental demands that come with a career in a helping profession and drift into the restful and rejuvenating rhythms that summer provides and Bitter; as I say goodbye to a class of 26 beautiful children and to a community that will never again exist after 11:30 am tomorrow.

To My Dear Second Graders,
      Congratulations! We have made it from August 25th when we started this grand adventure together to June 4th, our last and final moments as a learning grove. 
      I can remember very clearly that first day, as you huffed and puffed while you climbed all the way up to the second floor for the very first time here at Northwest.  That was your first of this year’s joys and challenges.  You were excited to meet your new teacher and reconnect with your friends but you were nervous if you would fit in and if you would be able to do all of the learning that was ahead of you. 
      In the fall you learned strange circley things called number bonds and now many of you can use them with ease.  We met characters like Iris and Walter and Henry and Mudge and learned about the desert and astronauts in space.  In science, we explored many types of rocks and even created our own classroom rock collection.  In November, right before Thanksgiving, we “filled up” a fellow classmate with many treats while reading There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie.  That afternoon WE ROCKED AND WE ROLLED showing Northwest we had the most school pride while we traced our bodies and created an epic paper chain to win the hallway decorating contest!
In the winter, as break approached we celebrated during Rudolph Day when Mrs. Goetz, my mom, came in while we made reindeer antlers, played holiday bingo, opened our glove gifts, and listened to her read The Grinch.  During that season, we met characters like Tara and Tiree and Anansi the Spider.  In math we practiced measuring with cubes and then centimeters.  We started social studies learning how to be good citizens.  We practiced voting in our own classroom voting booth and elected two class presidents.  Along the way, we picked up some new friends who came to Northwest for the very first, (or second time)!
This spring we ventured back into science learning about insects, observing our very own mealworms and waxworms and releasing our classroom butterflies.  In math, you took on the challenge of adding and subtracting 2 and 3 digit numbers and became masters of the up and down way!  In reading, we learned about frogs and many other wonders of nature. This spring, we also enjoyed time with our wonderful student teacher Miss McQuate.  As we wrapped up the year, we read The Lemonade Wars with the rest of the school and had our very own classroom war and sold lemonade with our entire second grade team!  Such fun!  We celebrated with South Hills Day and Field Day and now we celebrate the very last day.
My dear class, I hope you enjoyed all of the things we did this year. (This is the best class I have ever seen at using sequence words!)  But I also hope you enjoyed being a part of this class this year.  As your teacher I want to thank you for all that you taught me.  Because each one of you was apart of this class, I learned so many things about teaching and also about life.  I learned how to be calmer, kinder, stronger and more loving.  You impressed me; when I saw one of you bend over to rub the back of a crying friend, when another said that people hurt each other when they are hurt, when you clapped for someone else’s successes, when you fixed your own mistakes, when you chose to do rock, paper, scissors instead of fight with a classmate, when you took on a challenge.  I can’t believe today is the day we say goodbye and I hope each one of you feels like you belonged here in this room and that you mattered because each of those things is true.  Goodbye for now my second graders.  I hope to see you again next year!
                                                      Your teacher,

                                                            Miss Goetz

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