Breaking Up is Hard to Do
June 6, 2017
It’s that time of year again. The number of school days is dwindling down to small double digits. This is when the student begin to break up with us.
A veteran fourth grade teacher I know says each of them finds their own way to break up.
It’s not a conscious thing, but it’s necessary, inevitable, and kind of hard.
Each year that student’s homeroom teacher spends the better part of the year learning each of her student’s learning profiles, making them feel comfortable, pushing them to their discoveries as learners and then we tell them to get out of the car. There really isn’t another choice in the matter, but breaking up is hard to do.
A little preschooler after visiting the kindergarten class wipes out for days on end. I don’t want to go to kindergarten he says. What he means is, you made it warm and comfortable here. I know how to try here. I know where the edges are. I’ll have to learn them all over in my new place.
The fourth graders ask questions of the middle school counselors. Will my teacher know me? or a fourth grade version of that. Who will help me if I need help? We say, You’re ready! Look at you! You’ve got this!
Did we prepare them for life beyond us, whomever the us is? Did we teach them that they are their teachers? Did we show them that they know how to figure out what needs to be figured out when it needs to be figured out? Did we teach them how to let go and how to grab on? And my favorite question, how will we know when they have learned it?
So as we let go, let’s talk to them, all of them, about letting go and moving on… about strength and grit and how much they are ready. But let’s ask them, how will you know you’re ready? Because they are the captains of their own boats and it is time to set sail.