I imagine tomorrow will feel similar, only I've spent less time with these kids (1 - 3 years). I'm not sure if that makes it easier or more difficult. In some ways, I've had less time to get attached (but even one year in a school our size makes that relative state less significant). However, by having less time, there's so much more I wanted to share with these kids. Despite this, everything feels just as it should - it feels right, even if it's difficult. This year has given me a new perspective on what we've discussed in the classroom. Watching Steve Jobs' commencement address, discussing the status quo versus the individual's path in our transcendentalism unit, even linking our Native American archeological survey field trip with Joseph Campbell's expression on the importance of mythology and the hero's journey marked by his adage, "Follow your bliss," all of these (and so many more) reinforced what I knew was necessary for my own self-fulfillment.
This experience reminds me of a woman I saw present at an education conference a couple of years ago. Ann Bancroft left the teaching field to pursue crossing Alaska with a team of sled dogs. She was able to do that by being granted a sabbatical. However, when she returned to the school and saw the hallways filled with students' project about her adventure spanning virtually every subject, she realized that she had been teaching her students all along. I hope my students see this transition as the best lesson I could ever teach them. As Steve White, my musical mentor to whom I owe so much, said, "The people who follow their dreams are never the ones who have regrets."