“When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three,
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.”
[A. A. Milne]
As a teacher, the end of the school year is filled with mixed emotions. There is the feeling of completion and accomplishment that another year has come to a close. There is also the anxiety of wondering, could I have done more? What if their new teacher doesn’t understand them the way I did? There is a bittersweet feeling that comes with having to say goodbye to wonderful children and wish them luck on their educational adventures. There is pride in knowing that my students have grown so much this year and honor in knowing that I had a part to play in their development. But the feeling I always come back to is the same one that A. A. Milne’s poem entitled “The End” instills: nostalgic confidence!
“But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever. So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.”
This blog post is dedicated to my imaginative, inquisitive, charming, loving, charismatic, darling preschool and kindergarten class of 2017. Readers, I hope you too can find some wisdom and encouragement as well in this post.
Now, let’s begin:
Dear Friends in Ms. Rose’s Class,
You began this year full of energy and a spirit of inquiry. I can recall the first weeks of school when some of you also had a sense of uncertainty about coming to school. But you did it! You worked hard all year. You played, you created, you worked together, you asked questions, you solved problems, you made friends, you created memories and foundations, you used your imagination to make things come to life.
You have accomplished so much this year. And no matter where you have finished this year, whether knowing how to read, add or be able to complete a tricky puzzle, you did it! And you are ready to learn so much more in the years to come. I have watched all of you bond with each other and help your peers. I love when I get to watch you look out for others and laugh together. I love watching you teach, read, count, and create together.
And you have also taught me so much. You have shown me how to be a friend and how to laugh at and embrace mistakes. You are a constant joy in my day, my week, my life. You have reminded me of what it is like to be a child and have encouraged me to view the world through a preschooler’s eyes. And now I want to see the world in no other way!
As you continue your education in higher levels of school, I ask you to always remember the way you felt leaving this year. You are clever as clever! Yes, each year you will physically move farther and farther away from age six, but treasure that feeling. You can be six, now for ever and ever just by simply holding tight to your imagination and always asking questions. Let things surprise you and keep in mind that there are always new things to learn. Seek the truth and live in love and hope. And of course, read!
“If you are going to get anywhere in life, you are going to have to read a lot of books.”
Read what interests you. Read what tickles your imagination. Read mysteries, fantasies, history, literature, romance, science-fiction, joke books, cook books… read anything you can get your hands on! Befriend the librarian and the bookstore owner. Take book suggestions, and try new books on for size. Read books you disagree with to make you think. Read books that are hard. The triumph that comes with closing the end page of a difficult novel is sensational. There is just as much to learn from books as there is to learn from life! Never let anyone mock you for your choice in book. Read what you like! Read anything and read everything!
“The more that you read, the more that you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.”
Now my dear friends, I wish you luck. Remember, adventure is out there! Whether those adventures are out in the real world or with your nose in a book, enjoy!