Be the change, being a teacher, end of year

And What Do We End With?

A few days left of school, counting in days instead of weeks, counting in hours rather than units and you can hear the whispers in the corners.

“We will miss these kids…”

“Another great year…”

“They are ready…”

And we mean it as we plan our lessons, down to the very last day, and we try to continue the learning despite the energy, despite the crazy, despite the hint of summer in the air.

And we think of how far we have come, how much they have grown, how much we have grown, and we remember that what they will remember will probably not be the lessons we so meticulously planned.  The grades they got.  The homework they did.  But the moments.  The feeling.  The little things that in the end became the big.

How we stood outside our doors greeting them every day.

How we smiled whenever we saw them.

How we asked what was the matter rather than assumed we knew.

How we asked others how we could be better and actually listened rather than felt judged.

How we took a moment when they needed a moment and how it paid off in the end.

How we told them we were glad they were here rather than tell them they were late.

How we tried to make it matter.

How we tried to make it meaningful.

How we asked them what we could do better and then actually did it.

How no matter the day, no matter our mood, our classrooms and our school was always ready for the child who showed up because that is the child we hoped would come.



door sign
This sign has hung outside of our door all year, it will stay there for next year.


And we vow to keep trying to reach that child that we haven’t quite reached until the very last day, until the very last moment.

We start our years with our hopes and our dreams.  Our hearts ready to love.  With worry and sometimes doubt that we can be what they need us to be.  We start our years with lofty goals and new ideas, ready to make a difference.

And what do we end with?

A year filled with moments that shape us in ways we cannot even comprehend yet.

A year packed with learning that will only help us be better.

A year of opportunities to be something more than we started us.  A year that hopefully taught us as much as we taught them – if we did it right.

And hearts that now hold the names of even more children who went from perfect strangers to be ours.  Our kids.  Our kids who we will miss even though they may forget our names.  Even though they may forget our lessons.  Even though they cannot wait for summer and are even counting down the days.

Who knew we had so much room to love?

Who knew we would be, already, to do it all over again?

If you like what you read here, consider reading my newest book, Passionate Readers – The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child.  This book focuses on the five keys we can implement into any reading community to strengthen student reading experiences, even within the 45 minute English block.  If you are looking for solutions and ideas for how to re-engage all of your students consider reading my very first book  Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students.      Also, if you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page.


6 thoughts on “And What Do We End With?”

  1. Beautifully said, Pernille. Thank you for your inspiration. I know your children are grateful for your energy and passion. I am!

  2. Well said. Do you ever have your students write letters to next year’s teachers at the end of the year? I think it increases their agency and empowers them to make themselves known as much as they care to in the safety of this year’s community. I also like it when next year’s teachers write to them or visit before the end of the year. I think it helps quell fears, answer questions, and gives students friendly faces to find in the fall.

  3. Beautiful! I love the literal welcome your kids see each day at their feet, but I know it can’t compare to the light in your eyes when you greet them at the door. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. That was just beautiful, I remember when I was in school our teachers couldn’t wait to get rid of us, because we were really a handful. At the end of the day we all left with memories that would last forever.

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