If my memory serves me right, the last time I cried on a graduation day was during my high school graduation. Back then, I cried as a young teenybopper who was so attached to her high school friends and to her school and a bit afraid of what the new journey in college will bring her life. I cried over Madonna’s song ‘I Remember’ since that song really spoke of how I felt during that last day of my high school life.
More than a decade after that emotional scene from my high school graduation, I found myself dewy-eyed again ’cause of a school’s culmination activity. This time, the role that I played was way different from the one I portrayed ten years back. From being just the one waiting for her name to be called to go up the stage, I was now the one giving the certificate to the students. I’m now the teacher.
Being someone who’s easily attached to people and things, our school’s Moving Up Day was something I was looking forward to and dreading at the same time. I was excited about it because it’s a brand new experience for me, but I dreaded it since it meant bidding farewell to the kids, especially those who are already going to big schools.
And the inevitable separation happened this morning.
At first, the teachers were cool about the event. We were even laughing while decorating the venue. Then the kids arrived with their parents, and few moments after, the program started.
During the speech of the school’s directress, when she expressed her gratefulness to the parents, especially the sweet mommies who’ve been so helpful, so nice, and so thoughtful to us, I could already feel my tears wanting to fall down. Thankfully, I was able to hold it back.
Then the sweet mommies asked us to stay on the stage because they’ve prepared a small presentation for us. Thereupon, the kids formed a line holding three pieces of roses each. One by one–wait make that all of them–went up the stage and gave the teachers the roses, gave us a sweet hug, and said ‘thank you.’ That was the sweetest and the most rewarding scene I’ve ever experienced in my 7 years of working professionally.
After few picture taking, I went down the stage. Cole and his mom came to me and asked to take a picture with me. I hugged Cole because I’ll surely going to miss him since he’s one of the sweetest kids in class. Mommy Jane (his mom) then told me that Cole was crying last night because it finally dawned on him that he’s not going to Escuela Legarda anymore next school year. And I could no longer forbear my tears. I hugged Cole once more, this time, it was tighter and I told him I’m really going to miss him.
I’m being so emotional, I know. I’m a teacher so I should get used to this kind of scenarios since every year, we’ll have Moving Up Day and we’ll say goodbye to different sets of kids. But still…This whole thing was just so heart-melting and I never thought that parents could really appreciate teachers like the way these parents did.
Now I know what’s the toughest part of being a preschool teacher is. It’s not about teaching them the basics and really starting from scratch, not even changing diapers or washing them after they made poo-poo. It’s saying goodbye to little angels who’ve been my babies for the last 10 months of my life.
I’m not sure if these kids will ever remember us when they go to big school, especially if they’ll grow accustomed to it already. I hope they will, though. But I will certainly keep them in my heart for as long as live. I know for sure that at any random day, I would be checking on my old albums of the school and relive the precious moments spent with these little angels through those photos.