Slice of Life Tuesday: The finale

Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers

My last day as a sixth grade teacher is an experience I am still processing.  In some ways, it followed the same rituals as every last day of school for the members of the Room 202 community: desks to each side of the classroom, the treats table set up, dancing, music, and the door open to alumni streaming in.  Oh, and also hugs…many hugs.

This year, as in year’s past, the board was covered with messages of gratitude:


and identity as a learning community all of our own,.:


Then, there were notes that spoke to the essence of my teaching life, my teaching mission:


And there were the children, best of all.  The love and sense of nostalgia in the room were often too much to bear.  It is hard to let go of what you love…and we had a hard time of it.

But, every Smithling year has ended with a heart to heart, a “here’s what I hope you take away from our time together” speech. This year was different because it was the last gathering in the room we call home, so I leant on the towering shoulders of Fred Rogers, and this particular message:

Look for the helpers…be the helpers.  These were my final words for my kiddos.



13 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: The finale

  1. What a powerful final message to leave your students, Tara. Wishing you the best in this next phase of your life. You have touched many lives and your students will not forget.

  2. I love how you end your year. What a great sense of community. I often wonder what my “last day” will be like. I am just not there yet. Good luck to you.

  3. I’m going to be back in the classroom teaching sixth grade language arts next year. I hope I can give kids a tenth of the experience that you have given your Smithlings over the years. You are amazing. I’m sad that we won’t have your sixth grade stories, but I can’t wait to see what your next chapter will hold! If you haven’t seen the Mr. Rogers movie yet, I recommend it highly. I thought it was terrific!

  4. Thank you for your beautiful words. I hope to continue reading your posts. You have so much to share with educators. Enjoy all that awaits you.


  5. As a teacher, you have long inspired me to think about my process and my students. I am SO SO sad that my grandchildren, still preschoolers in your former district, will not know the inspiration of an incredible teacher, like you. So, I will await a chance to buy your wool and hope that you inspired ALL the teachers in your district!!!!!

  6. It sounds like you were an invested teacher; I’m sad to hear this is your last day as a sixth grade teacher but excited for you in the transition…hmm…what adventure will be next?! Regardless of what comes next appears you will be investing in whoever is near you. All the best in your journey onward!

  7. What a lovely tradition for the last day of school! And this year . . . your last, last day. I’ve been so fortunate to learn from you. What a gift you’ve shared with us through your blog posts. Enjoy every moment as you walk this new path.

  8. Oh, Tara, I cannot even imagine this day for you or your kids. I so regret never figuring out the logistics of getting to see you teach. I learn from your writing but I wanted to feel what it was like to be in your classroom. Enjoy your summer – I look forward to continued learning. Congratulations!

  9. Bittersweet is what I’m feeling as you close the door on this part of your life. You are an inspiration not only to the Smithlings, but to every reader who has stopped by here to learn from your thinking. What an adventure awaits in the next chapter of life!

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