After two years I’m leaving school.

While I’m happy to leave, I was touched by the send off I received from my students.

The fifth graders, with whom I spent the most time, of course, had nothing positive to say. They were more excited about the snacks and drinks I told them they could bring, and extra ones I brought in myself. I made my last day a party day, waiving quizzes and homework right and left.

I asked them if they would miss me. “Maybe,” one answered. I did hear one very quiet “Yes,” from one of the quieter kids.

At least one of them would miss me, I thought. That’s something.

Unfortunately, because we had a rain day in Taipei the day before I left, I didn’t get to say good-bye to my kindergarteners. Basically, one day I was teaching them, and the next day I was gone.

I knew they liked me because every time, they would come running after me shouting, “Hi teacher!” It was cute and I will miss them the most.

My last class of the day was late on a Friday night. This particular class had recently been merged, and so, for the first time ever, I had my Monday night and Friday night students in the same room in addition to another class with some kids I didn’t know very well. There were 17 kids in that class in the weeks leading up to my departure from the school.

I told them all that on the last day they were welcome to bring in snacks and drinks. They were pretty excited about that.

Predictably, not too many of them seemed to care that I was leaving. However, considering that teachers at buxibans are like a revolving door, this didn’t surprise me too much.  They were more  concerned whether the new teacher would be “an angry” teacher, by which I took they wanted to know if she was nice or not.

For the last twenty minutes of class, I let them pull out their snacks and drinks and play games.  I walked around among them, chatting with my favorite students. The ones I didn’t like I didn’t talk to at all.

A couple of the girls wanted to take a picture of me which I thought was flattering. Until I saw one of them putting my image into an app on her phone that would add a mustache and give me a bunch of goofy hairdo’s.  Thanks, kid.

At the end of the day I chatted with a couple of girls from my Monday class. Amber, in particular, seemed sorry to see me go.  One of the other students told me she had snapped my picture earlier when I was still teaching. So I walked over, and asked if she wanted to take one with me. She got all red and shy and quiet, but eventually came bouncing over.

When class ended I gathered my books together and headed down to the teacher’s room. Hovering outside was Joey, the brother of one of my fifth graders, and a recent addition to my Friday night class.  He quietly asked me, with a nervous air, casting furtive glances behind him, if he could have my email address.  It was so cute. I asked him if he was going to write me, and he said he would.
And that was it. That was my great big send off.

I’d like to say that I will miss teaching, but I’d be lying.

But, I enjoyed the experience of getting to know the kids. I learned a lot.

I learned how to make children cry, and how to make them laugh. I learned how to talk to them, and I even learned a little something about teaching.

And now, it’s onto bigger and better things. A new career in Editing.

I can’t wait to get started.