Several students gave me presents in the morning. This is one of the cards I received. I should've waited till I was home to read it because it made me cry. It was so sweet. She also gave me a really big, long hug at the end of the day and said "I can't let you go! I'll miss you too much Miss Kao!"
At the end of the day, the substitute asked the students to tell me what they liked or appreciated about me. I didn't know she was going to do that so I suddenly had to brace myself mentally in order to not break down and cry in front of the class. Here were some of the things they said:
-Miss Kao is kind, caring, loving, sweet
-She makes everything fun
-She doesn't do boring school stuff and she does cool different things like quiet coyote
-She taught us to fold paper cranes and fortune tellers
-She's good at art
-She's good at teaching math (this one surprised me the most I think haha)
-She has a pretty singing voice (and then we sang I Love Onions again!)
-She doesn't yell at us even if we're not listening.
-She has black hair (haha!)
-She knows lots of languages (and then I had to say "Hi" in all the languages I know :P)
-She taught us about Japanese traditions and language.
-She's the best student teacher anyone could ever wish for.
And so on....how could I possibly not cry listening to all these sweet words??? I couldn't properly express how much I appreciated them and their craziness because I was on the verge of tears all day, so after everyone went home and I was waiting for my ride back to Lethbridge, I wrote a message on the board to greet them tomorrow when they arrive at school.
No amount of words can describe how much I loved this whole experience. There were some rough patches but I got through them and grew a little each time. My professor told me that I handled the difficult students really well and he's always impressed with my quiet calm way of doing things. I'm proud of what I've accomplished with my class even though I didn't get to do everything I wanted to do. It's very flattering when students and teachers from other classes stop by our classroom to admire our world of cranes and snowflakes. I hope I can visit them again sometime in the new year! The students were asking me to give them my email so I may discuss with my TA to see if we can set up something like a writing assignment. I can just set up a separate gmail account dedicated to students!
I don't like saying goodbye, and it has become clear that I will be one of those teachers who will cry at the end of every year when my students are heading off to the next grade. In a way, it's not really goodbye, because the connection has been formed and I hope it will always be there. I think having that separate email account might be a good idea because I would like to hear about students' successes and challenges. I'd like to be able to offer advice and encouragement even if I'm no longer their teacher.
One student came up to me at the end of class and said "I want to become an artist just like you!" I would love to see how she grows and surpasses my own skills one day! I'm still not quite registering that PS I has come to an end. I'm looking forward to the challenges of PS II in the new year!