My class and I have spent many hours together. Since August, we’ve spent most weeks together learning, playing, and growing. I know their faces.
When they are confused by a Math problem
When they are sick of taking notes
When they are in love with their book
When they want more time to work
When they didn’t sleep all weekend
When they finally understand something

Last week I had the chance to see my students participate in a soccer tournament held on our campus. Since August, I have seen them play soccer at recess a handful of times, not once in an official game. I saw my student there on the field.
She wore the bright yellow jersey
She had mud on her socks and shins
She ran slowly and then fast
She kicked towards the goal
She missed it but smiled as they cheered
She lit up with an inexplicable glow

Next month I will say goodbye to this 5th grade class. Next August, we won’t be together, not even a little, and I’ll welcome in a new group. I’ll think of those faces and wonder how they’re doing.
If they like their new teachers
If they are getting enough sleep
If they remember what we practiced
If they feel confident around others
If they are playing and being silly
If they are making successes