Well, it’s official…..As of this moment I am retired. Even as I write this, it is hard to wrap my head around that concept. During all of this past week I felt like I was having an “out of body” experience and that somebody was retiring, but not me! That being said, it was an incredible week of special events, celebrations, and good-byes.
…..Monday was the last day of special classes but the day began with a special assembly for the five of us who are retiring. It was amazing! Each one of us was invited to the stage and presented with a Superhero cape! Each cape was themed to the particular person’s role in the school. Mine had sports on it and it was such a special gift! Next, our “MC”, one of my best friends, proceeded to speak about why each one of us is a Superhero. She spoke about what we taught the students, as well as what we taught the adults, and reminded us that our efforts during our careers would pay dividends for many for life. As if all of this were not enough, finally all 500 + students and staff sang a good-bye song. There was not a dry eye in the house!
…..Monday night I received an email from a parent who was going through their child’s writing portfolio for the year. She came across a piece of writing that was all about how PE was his favorite special. He drew a picture of me smiling because he told his mom that I was always smiling and happy to see them come to PE! I was always happy to see them arrive to PE and usually I would say something like: “I’m glad you are here!” I am glad to know that the students noticed that I was indeed happy to see them!
…..I spent the rest of the day teaching my classes and spent a good deal of time reminiscing about my career. I kept picturing different events and lessons that happened over the years and wondered how it could have gone by so quickly!
…..I was presented with a gift from one of my families this week. It was a canvas print of the graphic on this year’s Field Day shirt! If you have read this blog recently, you may remember that this year’s Field Day shirt included a lion wearing a PE shirt and carrying a banner that reads: “We love you Mrs. Robelee!” Again, I was crying……..in gratitude…….
…..As the week went on I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my students and families. I received so many wonderful gifts. One was a necklace that reads “NPE 2017”, others included flowers, beautiful cards and kind words, plaques, and more. I spent quite a bit of time this week with tissues in my hand to dry my tears!
…..On Wednesday I was surprised by a District Health and PE luncheon in honor of those retiring. It was so thoughtful and so wonderful to get together as a department to say goodbye. I have mentored many of my colleagues and I shared a memory or two as I thanked them for their kind words and good wishes!
…..Our 5th grade moving up day is always wonderful as well as emotional. Of course, this year it was even more emotional as I said goodbye to families and students. I am so proud of how much these students have learned and grown. Many I have had as students since kindergarten and I know they are well prepared to move on to middle school. It was so much fun to celebrate their accomplishments with them and their families!
…..The last day of school was Thursday and I knew it would be a tough one……..I had the tissues at the ready and steeled myself for the goodbyes to come. The fifth-grade classes asked those retiring to be in the lobby at 9:20 for a presentation. They read a beautiful card to us and presented each of us with a lovely plant that would remind us of them as both the plant and they grow and blossom……. All 87 of them wanted to either hug or high five a goodbye so we created a receiving line and did just that. After we all recovered from that it was time to get ready for dismissal as it was an early release day and students would be leaving before lunchtime. There is always a bit of a party atmosphere on the last day as we play music, wave streamers, blow bubbles, and do what we call the “Big Wave” as busses depart the school driveway. We wore our Superhero capes, took many pictures, and received lots of hugs as students left the building for the summer. I knew it would be hard but I realized how much I had been anticipating this moment and holding in my emotions so it was actually a bit of a relief to experience the goodbye and let out the emotions…….
…..After dismissal a family came back to school to deliver some gifts to adults in the building. They found me in the library working on the PE inventory. My gift was a beautiful card, a homemade sports-themed travel pillow, and matching bracelets to wear with my Superhero cape – just like Wonder Woman! How great and thoughtful is that!
…..On Thursday night, our building celebrated the end of the school year and those retiring with an amazing dinner at a local restaurant. When the evening began, I was already thinking that I did not want it to end. I was so happy that my family was there as well and we laughed, cried, celebrated, reminisced, and hugged goodbye. I am still overwhelmed with gratitude at the kind words and celebration………At the beginning of my career I could not have ever imagined that it would end with so many special events and celebrations. I am truly blessed…..
…..Even though the last day of school was Thursday I needed to go to school on Friday to tie up some loose ends and finish up some last-minute details. It was a good thing that I was there by myself and as I finished up, turned off the lights, and took a deep breath to leave the building I reminded myself how fortunate I am to have spent my entire teaching career in one special place: North Park School. Thank you to everyone who made this year so special. I will miss you all! I am ready for my “chapter 2”, as I have been calling it, whatever that may be. I will still stay involved in the profession in some way but just like me, this blog will be retired for now. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share “The Best Parts of My Week!” with you. My school website will be taken down as of June 30th, but I will continue to share my passion for Physical Education through my new website: Fizz Ed Fun - Site for PE Professionals!
Some pictures of the wonderful celebrations and thank you notes of this past week: