I’m not sure if I have shared this here before, but my office at school is the last stop before our grade one students go out the door to recess, and the first stop when they come back in.
This geography suits me fine, as it means they stop in for hugs and chats on their way in and out, and I get to keep track of them, see their smiles and rosy cheeks, zip their coats, nag them about mittens. They know that as long as I am in my office, they are welcome any time. They are not afraid to knock and peek in the window, even if I am in a meeting. Even if the meeting is with our Head of School. Who can get mad at being interrupted by a six-year-old who scoots in, throws his arms around my neck, and then skips out again?
Today, one of my little boys from last year came in, as he always does, for a hug, a smile, a quick cuddle to remind him that cuddles are still available, even to big boys in grade one. After our usual squeeze, he took a minute to look around my office, and noticed a photo on my bulletin board: a picture of my last class at my previous school. 12 grade ones, neat and tidy in grey and burgundy uniforms. This kiddo (we’ll call him B) was curious:
B: Mme, who’s those kids?
Me: They were my class at another school.
B: You worked at another school?
Me: Yes, before I came here, I taught grade one at another school.
B: Why did you leave?
Me: Because I knew this school was a very special place, and I really wanted to come here.
B: You put the picture up to remember them?
B: You will always love them, won’t you?
Me: Yes, I will.
B: And you will always love us. Forever.
And off he went.
Yes, B. I will always love them.
And I will always love you.
That’s how a teacher’s heart works.