"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Sunday, June 22, 2014

On Building Lasting Relationships

 Friday was the last day of school with students. It is always an up/down day. I hate saying goodbye to the students, especially the fifth graders, who are moving onto the middle school. We have formed a different kind of a bond over our six-year learning journey. Yet it is also exciting looking forward to a summer vacation filled with adventures.

Unlike the grade level teachers who experience the intensity of 180 days in and out, as a teacher librarian, I have a more drawn out relationship that builds slowly. We have shared memories of past years. I am like the relative that has known them for a long time and can recall earlier events and experiences.  

Our teacher/student relationship changes over time as well. By the time the students get to fifth grade, I know them, I know what they are capable of, I know how much I can push them. I am scaffolding their learning experiences, but they are leading the charge. It is thrilling to stand back and watch them work through projects and rely on each other for help. My name is still called out and I am still the teacher, but I spend more and more time moving from group to group and checking in with students. It is exciting to sit down and talk through a piece of writing, a storyboard, a collection of images, and/or a draft project. 

The notes, hugs, and conversations that I had with the fifth graders on Friday let me know that they feel the same way as well. I received full on arm hugs from students as well as notes mentioning specific events or projects. I think our relationship is special partly because we can always talk about books, but I would also like to think that it is because we have formed a bond, not one like the classroom teachers, but one that is a little bit different. It is still a student/teacher bond, but because we grow together over those six years, it is more like a relative/teacher/student bond. This year was different, but so is every year, because every year both the students and I are different people, we grow, and we see each other's growth. I am going to miss this fifth grade graduating class, but thankfully, my heart will not allow this sadness to stop it from welcoming a brand new class of fifth graders in the fall. For now, I'm just going to savor the memories of this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment