I am warning you up front that this post has a negative tone.
1. Just when I get them broken in, I have to release my students. They finally understand how my mind works and my moods. They know when silence is golden and when it’s fine to make a response or comment.
2. I will miss their shining faces and the sparkle in their eyes as they grasp an idea. They also look like this when they think they have a witty zinger for me. The usual punishment is enforced: one thousand lashes with a wet noodle. The severity of the crime determines the width of the noodle. Some kids earn angel hair, some kids earn fettuccine, and some real stinkers deserve the lasagna noodle. Before you write me, remember that wet noodles break when they get swinging, so they never connect with the students’ persons; therefore, no one is injured. Besides, I don’t have the proper place to boil the water to make the wet noodles, and I keep forgetting to bring the black cauldron of doom to school. My husband forbids me using it again. Spoilsport!
3. I will miss teasing some of them about their favorite college or pro team if we differ in opinion. The Patriots fans are the worst, by far. One boy will wear his shirt, walk by my classroom pointing at it with glee, and expect me to cheer his wardrobe decision. I look at his shirt and reply, “Fail!” He trots off happily, knowing that he has ruined my day. Stinker!
4. I will miss growling at the ones who need it. They walk by and say, “Hello, Mrs. Johnson.” I growl back in response, and we’re both happy. They know who they are. For these special ones, it doesn’t matter if I’ve had my coffee or not. Growling is all they receive from me. Even if I see these individuals multiple times in one day, the response is still “Grrrrr.” If I smile and say, “Hello,” then they know I am ill and need to see the nurse in the clinic.
5. I will miss labeling the guilty and accusing kids with mischievous expressions of being guilty, even when I haven’t seen what they’ve allegedly done. It keeps them on their toes. They hold out their hands with a “Who me?” expression that no judge in America would buy.
6. I will miss bantering with my nemesis Dr. Destructo who has an evil plan to take over the world and minions to boot; however, he reports that he is good only on Sundays, so that lessens his evil impact somewhat. He has been a worthy opponent.
7. I will write in anyone’s yearbook who lets me do so and cringe if something ugly or inappropriate is written in it by another student.
8. I will miss the kids who are too cool to acknowledge that they love me. They may get the obligatory fist-bump, but no hugging will be done on the last day of school. I have a reputation as the toughest, roughest sixth-grade teacher to uphold. That is my story, and I’m sticking to it!
9. I tend to cry on the last day of school. That pesky wind always blows dust in my eyes, and I’m trying to wipe it out. It can’t be because of those kids. It just can’t be. I’ll miss my babies.