This past Friday, I woke up feeling as I have on any other typical practicum day. Hopeful, yet in desperate need of coffee, and excited for the plans in place for the day ahead of me. However, as the morning progressed and one instructional period blended into the next, it began to dawn on me that this was no ordinary placement day. I would have no lesson plans to create this weekend, no activity materials to organize, no anchor charts to make and no ideas to present to my Associates. This was it– this was my last day as a student teacher. What a surreal feeling!
That being said, I was able (for the most part) to place my emotions aside temporarily and enjoy my last moments with the students whom I had inevitably grown attached to over the past few weeks. I watched videos and played games with them during free time, marked their Math quizzes from the previous day, hosted my last circle session, and finally said goodbye to the class who provided me with more insight, confidence, and professional and personal growth in four weeks than I even knew was possible. They surprised me with a thank you card and nearly tackled me in a group hug, as I shared my hopes for a potential future visit with them. And then slowly but surely, I gathered my belongings, left the leftover treats on one of the back tables for the kids who were absent that day (I’m still not one hundred percent sure that the cashier at the grocery store truly believed me when I told her that I did not intend on eating 25 packages of Mini Eggs by myself, and that I was in fact giving these to my placement students), and said a final goodbye to the staff and school who provided me with two invaluable practicum experiences. I miss the kids already, and the lessons that they and my host teachers have taught me will stay with me as I prepare to finish my time at Teachers’ College and enter the profession as a new educator.