Sunday was my last day teaching kindergarten for the year. We were in one of our circles that we often sit in (that I gather the kids into in a sing-songy pleasant voice I learned from Waldorf-education teachers), I was delivering my words of closure and love, right before I taught them a Goodbye song, and the children spontaneously got up one by one to hug me, until they were all surrounding me and on top of me and I couldn't help but cry. I know that they loved me this year, and that their parents loved me. I love these children so much, and there were a few specific moments this year that were really moving. Like Friday night before the last class. The kids were going to be leading some songs at the Friday Night Shabbat service at the synagogue, and a few minutes before the service started we gathered on the bimah to review some of the songs one last time. In one song they needed to all look at me and follow my lead, because the cantorial soloist with her guitar was singing harmony, and the kiddos needed to focus on staying on tune with me. As we sang (and their soft high voices ribboned through the air), I moved my eyes from one to the other, watching their sweet eyes and faces as they sang. I nearly choked on tears.
This is their handprints tree hanging on the wall (I painted the bare tree and they added the greenery)
And this is our classroom, which started out white and empty, and to which I (and the kids) added all the extra elements to make it be a calm and welcoming space, when we moved into in in the middle of the year. You can't really see in the video, but there's peach-colored fabric hanging like a canopy or a curtain from the ceiling, which adds a really nurturing feeling.