Tomorrow in my district, the teachers begin their school year for 2022-2023. For some of us, we’ve done this so many times, and for others, it is their first year to start their career as a teacher.

At my district, my 4th grade teacher friends, are beginning as part of three different K-4th elementary campuses for the first time. Before, we were a stand alone campus, or at times, were part of a 3rd/4th grade campus or a 4th/5th campus. As our rural district has grown, we as 4th grade teachers have shifted as placement was needed, but grade level remained a whole group. Every year there were some different faces, but you became familiar and part of us.

Tomorrow, as I enter the building, some of you will be entering with me. Others, you will be entering your own buildings. Truthfully, I’m sad that I won’t be able to yell down the hallway or bypass your rooms and see you gathered, laughing, and talking over one another. You won’t be there as a complete group to sit at long tables together in those boring start of the year meetings. It will feel different. Our groups will be different and so much smaller.

Different isn’t worse. Difference means changes and some we will enjoy and others we won’t. Changes make us grow as people and as teachers. I expect to see familiar faces that have been with the district for a while. There will be new, younger faces that I will have to work hard to remember names.

Already, as I set up my room this week, the campus didn’t feel the same. So many people walking the halls, setting up their own room. I stuck my head in a few and commented on tiny chairs with tiny desks. I took tours of classrooms admiring ideas that were new to me. Smiling at the younger curriculum that is to be taught.

I’m actually excited to see small ones beginning their school life. Learning to walk in lines and learn routines. I’ll have the chance to see students change grade levels from year to year and mature as they grow. Those sound like positives to me!

So for all my 4th grade peeps that I will miss…I am sorry that you won’t be a part of my daily school life. I’m hanging on to the fact that we still have one another, but I know daily, it won’t be the same. Am I going to miss lesson planning with ten plus math teachers?….Heck No! However, I will miss eating, laughing, crying, and the silliness that sometimes happens during planning meetings.

I’m going to miss Natalie. She always has extra papers or ideas to give me, a shoulder of support when I need it, and a wicked sense of humor. I’m sad that Illana won’t be around to help me with a positive attitude towards technology and her beautiful accent. Tiffany with her stunning amounts of energy. Rachel with her easy, conflict resolution ideas and her willingness to make up tests. Mariam’s nimble fingers as she types up the lesson plans and her bursts of laughter. Joyce with her unflagging, great attitude as she learned 4th grade math and, Bianca with her questions that made us think.

On our campus, I get to keep Courtney and her boundless ideas of making math interactive and fun. Thankfully, Nikki with her knowledge of data and manipulatives, and Sarah with her friendship, which I truly enjoy.

My ELAR peeps that are gone missing to other campuses…I can’t imagine not running into y’all. My day will be a bit darker without your sunshine.

So almost as Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias sings it….

My 4th grade teachers, we taught with before.
That traveled in and out our campus door.
I'm glad you came along
I dedicate this song
to all my teacher friends.

To all my 4th grade teachers, that worked together.
We learned from planning with the best. 
Thanks for helping us all grow.
Who helped the students know.
My ole great teacher friends.

The winds of change were blowing.
Moving us to different places.
With our gondolas growing 
We moved into our space.

My 4th grade teachers, who showed real grace.
We will really miss seeing your face.
You enriched our lives.
I dedicate this song 
to all my teacher friends.  

To all the teachers who taught with me
who filled my Google drive with ease
Their ideas fill my head
With concepts I'll never forget
Thanks, my super Math friends!

The winds of change keep blowing.
It's the kids we love to teach.
That's what keeps us going, 
Even when our principal isn't a peach.

We'll certainly miss us.
The recess bench and CHAMPS rewards
our laughter and our talks
I'll miss you a lot, my 4th grade teacher friends.