Today was the last day of school for children. There were floods of tears from children, and also parents. Hugs were like the jaws of life. Pick-up on the playground at the end of the day was emotional for everyone.
Especially for Maddie.
Mom held the new baby brother while Maddie continued to play. The more mom smiled, the more Maddie refused to go home. Yes, refused. Finally, I scooped up Maddie in my arms so we could walk to the classroom. Maddie buried her head in my neck, and I asked her if she wanted me to sing a song.
“Yes”, she said.
“What song do you want me to sing?”
Of course! “Wagon Wheel” has been ‘our song’ in the classroom whenever someone is feeling sad. Children will want me to ‘rock me mama’. And, I do just that. So, I sang the chorus loud and rocked as best I could on two feet, as I carried Maddie to the classroom.
Children are very forgiving when their teacher is crying and singing and rocking at the same time.
Music is a great healer. Love is, too.
This brought tears to my eyes. Transitions are harder for little ones and you have definitely made a deep impression. I haven’t listened to that song for a long time but can see why she loves it. I do too and added it to my playlist.
The song is on my playlist, too, Marlene.
It’s a keeper! When someone is sad in the class, other children will often ask them if they want “Wagon Wheel.” I was pretty choked up when she asked me to sing it. Thank you, Marlene!
you are sowing the seeds of legacy Jennie
That’s so nice, Wayne. Thank you.
I’m all teary-eyed now. I think the most important lesson you imparted to Maddie was that you knew what she was feeling, and you gave her what she needed in that moment.
I was pretty choked up, too! I think you’re right- that was the important thing.
Beautiful! Love the song.
Thank you, Cindy. You can see why it’s so popular with the children.
This was the first year, as a teacher, that I cried the last day. It has been an overwhelming couple of years and I have invested in the lives of my students and they are unsure of what they will do over the summer without the mundane nuances of school. It sounds silly, but we are some of the most consistent factors in their lives and they latch on to the security like a blanket. This is also the first year my daughter sobbed as she left 3rd grade. She could not bare to say goodbye to Ms. Smith as if they would never cross paths again. We came back the next day and brought her a plant to put in her garden that we had grown from a seed (a classroom assignment) to remind her of all the kids that love her and how their love continues to grow. I am so glad we went back to have closure. It was all smiles and a sweet goodbye. Teachers are such a valuable part of the lives of our youths. Thank you for all that you do.
Beautifully said! And, you are so right. I’m glad you went back to have closure, and the plant was an absolutely perfect gift. Keep teaching and making a difference in the lives of children.
Always a tough time for both the kids and the staff. I’m sure Maddie will remember you fondly 🤗
I know you have the same things happen to you, Ritu. It is hard! 🥰
Oh, poor Maddie.
A bittersweet end to a wonderful school year. A perfect song. Have a great summer! You deserve it.
Yes, indeed. Thank you, Darlene!
Aah… how lovely and it just shows what an important role you and school play in Maddie’s life.. especially perhaps with a new baby at home getting a little more attention… The song is wonderful xx
Thank you, Sally! I think she’ll get more attention at home over the summer. And that song!! It is a keeper in my class. 😍
Aw, do they not come back after the holiday?
Some of the children stay at school for the summer, as we turn it into a fun summer camp. Maddie will be back in September when school starts.
Cheers Jennie, 🙂 summer camp sounds good! We don’t do that here which I think is sad.
That’s a shame. Children need the great outdoors, especially in the summer, and camp is just that.
Nice story. Good song.
aw, this is so beautiful. it is always such an emotional and bittersweet day. hard for all ages
It is, indeed! Thanks, Beth. I’m sure you walk in those shoes every year.
Oh Jennie. You are a treasure to this world
This story has me sobbing. Not just because I was one of the crying parents, not just because I know and love Maddie and can picture this, but because the aqua room this year was something truly special I’ll miss it dearly!! And you❤️
Thank you for your undying love of books, reading and children.
Aww…that’s so nice. Many, many thanks! 🥰
This post had me sobbing! Not just because I was one of the crying parents, or because I know and love Maddie and can totally picture this, but because the aqua room was so truly special this year and I will miss it!
Thank you for your love of books, reading and all our kiddos❤️
What a wonderful song! I have never heard it before. The memories that are made in classes like yours will be remembered for their entire lives. I have memories that are so touching and so important about teachers that have meant a lot to me. I would not trade them for anything.
And in the end, memories are all we have, right? They’re incredibly important. Thank you, Pam.
Tears. This is touching, Jennie. Maddie knows how much you love her. 🎶 💛
Thank you! 🥰
You’re so welcome 🥰 Jennie, I hope your well-deserved time off brings nothing but joy and love.
She will remember that moment, I am sure. Did Gloria go home with anyone for the holidays?
Best wishes, Pete.
Thank you, Pete. Gloria is home with me. She and Oscar will “spend the summer in Maine” and return to school in late September, once the children have settled into the new year. She needs a day at the spa (dry cleaners), big time! 🙂
Glad to hear they will be enjoying summer at your poolside, Jennie. 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
Jennie, thank you so much for this beautiful post!
You are welcome, Charles!
Oh, your post brought up memories of a sad good bye of mine. We were moving to another city 3/4’s of the way through the school year and I didn’t run back and give my teacher a hug after saying good-by and good luck, and I really wanted to. I liked her a lot, but we were too old for that kind of mushy stuff in 5th grade. I still wish I had though. I’m glad Maddie got her big hug and a song too. 🥰
Oh, nooo!!! You still remember. I’m writing a post about a 4th grader who invited me to his play performance. Yes, the mushy stuff, and they actually love it when they’re older.
BTW, there have been a few of those teachers for me, too. If you’re lucky you can find her on FB and say thank you. It’s never too late.
Children love those teachers who love them back. God bless you, Jennie, for all you do for kids. By the way, I was never ashamed to cry in front of my students. How many times did the tears form in my eyes when I got to the sad part of a classic book we enjoyed together? It shows we’re human and have feelings just like them.
Thank you so much, Pete. And, I know exactly what you mean. I always feel that connecting with children comes from crying, belly-laughing, and every emotion in between. Yes, it’s the human element that makes the difference in teaching. I can’t get through reading about Jack the dog getting lost in the creek in Little House on the Prairie without crying. I think the reason Jennie Stories are so popular is because I’m showing children all my feelings.
We voted on our favorite chapter reading book this year. The Wild Robot won! BTW, there is a sequel. It’s really good.
I love that song. So nice of you to show all the love you have right up to the end, Jennie.
It’s definitely a favorite song! Thanks so much, Dan.
This is a great one!
The last day of school is always so emotional. I always cried. This is such a great song and I love the rocking. Have a good summer, Jennie.
Thanks so much, Carla! Best to you.
A beautiful post. I cannot imagine how you could let go of all that love without a few tears. ‘Tis the plight of every good teacher at the end of the year.
Yes, it’s always that way. How wonderful it is to shed tears together. Thank you, Ally. 🥰
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Thank you, Michael!
Thats the great difference, when you have so fantastic teachers like you, Jennie! As i remember, after holidays i always never wanted to return to school. 😉 xx Michael
Aww… that’s so nice, Michael. Thank you! How sad that you didn’t want to return to school after the holidays. Come to think of it, I didn’t want to either. Thank goodness times and teachers have changed, for the best of children.
That’s true, Jennie! Only these change make it possible also strenghten democracy.
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Ahhhhhh what a wonderful moment one which will be remembered, Jennie by you both…I have added this to my playlist it is a song I haven’t heard before…x
It was certainly a wonderful moment, Carol. That song has become a mainstay in the classroom. Everyone loves it (me, too) and whenever a child is feeling blue, playing the song while rocking the child is the best ‘cure all’, ever. Even better, other children watch and listen as their classmate is being rocked. That is powerful.
I can see why having listened to the song, Jennie… Happy or sad those children are so blessed to have a teacher who is so in tune with their feelings and their needs… Bless you, Jennie 🙏🏻x
That is so kind, Carol. Thank you! 💕
All true, Jennie xx
You’re a legend to many Jennie xx
Awwww what a sweetheart.. you and Maddie 💕
Thanks, Jen! 🥰