Yesterday (pi day) was the final graduation that I will attend as an employee of Daito Board of Education. I taught a lot of the kids the phrase “bitter-sweet” to describe the event. It has been unseasonably cold the last few days and graduation was no exception. Even though it was cold spirits were high and the tears were flowing. Parents were crying, students were crying, teachers were crying, even your humble narrator shed a tear or two.
This class was very special to me. I came to Japan when they were first graders. So over the three years I have been here I have really seen these kids grow up. I would like to think that in my own way I have helped them move from being children to being young adults. I don’t know how important I will be in the overall scheme of their lives, but hopefully I have contributed to their betterment. I will really miss some of the kids.
This year I did something different than past years. Because I only have about five months left I decided to give out my email address to a few of my best kids. Usually that makes me uncomfortable. That just does not really happen all that much in American schools and since that is what I was raised in… Yet, in Japan it is a fairly common thing for students to email their teachers. A few of my friends keep in touch with their better students and I realized that I was missing out because I do miss my best kids. So I gave a few cards out. I have heard from two of my kids. We will see how long this lasts!
This year instead of having the kids stick around the school we had a little procession to a nearby open patch of land. They call it the “helipad” but I am not sure if this is ironic or this area will one day be converted into a helipad. Right now it is kind of park area. It was nice to be more spread out and in the open. I stayed there later than any of the other teachers so I was frozen when I got back to school.
All in all, it was a good end to my run. A big part of me wishes I was going out with my current group of second graders (who will become third graders in a few weeks) but I think about some of the kids that just graduated and realize I could have gone out with a lot worse of a class. I miss them!
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