|Goodbye notes written by 9th graders (in English). Can you see the little birds?|
(Disclosure: If you have trouble reading the images please click on them to make them larger.)
Soon, my 9th grade boys and girls will be moving on to high school. I haven't had the pleasure of teaching them much these last couple trimesters. They have been SO busy with entry tests for high school. I've already begun to miss those crazies.
Last Friday, February 21, was officially my last day in class with them. Their main English teacher was very kind to give me a special project to do with them as a final lesson: goodbye notes.
They were asked to write two or three sentences saying goodbye to the school, teachers, and/or their friends. It was a touching experience. I did my best to turn this project into a display that would attract the students to read each other's notes.
The spring season is a big deal in Japan. First the plum trees will blossom, and they are soon followed by the cherry blossoms. Therefore, I decided to design a tree for every 9th grade class (pictured above).
|the Special Education class' own tree.|
At the end of each class, I was given the opportunity to give them my own goodbye. Above all, I wanted them to know how they are cared for by their teachers and how they have forever changed me for the better. I told them that I know I won't be the only life they touch and how I hope they'll always remember that they are valued. I encouraged them to enjoy life; not just work it away. They couldn't understand everything I was saying. Nonetheless, they could sense my emotion.
Their English teacher arranged for them to write me goodbye notes as well.. here are a few.
(Side note: I think Mrs. Erica Berry deserves some credit for the kids who have changed their minds about English over the years. They studied with her for two years before I came along. I'm sure she influenced their liking English more than I did.)
And finally, a few boys decided to write poems/letters to me. These guys were making it hard not to cry. They're just too cute.
It will be sad to see these kids go. I love them and pray for them often. My heart is heavy with a desire for them to have a full life. I really hope that I will run into them every once in a while.