This was your big year. I watched your little hands reach for crayons on the first day of school. Those same crayons are sitting in an empty classroom right now. If I had known our last hug was the very last kindergarten hug, I would’ve squeezed you a little tighter.
First of all, I want you to know that I am so very proud of everything you accomplished in kindergarten.
You learned how to add, subtract, and count to 100. You learned to read words, sentences, and even books. I watched your eyes light up as you sounded out your very first word and realized you were reading. Yes, you! You can read. You are wonderful. You are sweet. And even when your behavior is challenging, you’re learning. You’re learning your limits and testing boundaries and you’re learning to grow up along the way. Most importantly, you’ll leave this year with two very important traits: resilience and the ability to adapt. These traits will stick with you throughout your life.
Kindergarten ended abruptly for you. There was no Easter egg hunt, May Day, or even kindergarten graduation. You were robbed of all the most exciting parts of kindergarten, and that breaks my heart. I want you to know it’s not anyone’s fault. Sometimes bad things happen and you can’t control them. But there are some things you can control: You can control yourself and how you respond to the bad things. Always remember to breathe and make smart choices — just like we talked about in our classroom.
I think about you every day.
I miss your crazy questions and listening to you read. I worry about your parents, their jobs, and their health too. Do you have plenty of food? Are you scared? Some of you have a yard to play in, but many of you don’t. Five-year-olds need space to run and fresh air to breathe. If you do have a yard to play in and space to move around, I hope you realize how wonderful it is. I hope you’re seeing things through a new lens and appreciating little things like you never have before — I know I am.
We didn’t get to say goodbye, but I know I’ll see you soon. When I do, you’ll be a big first grader. Can you believe it? Someday, you’ll tell your grandkids about kindergarten. I hope you remember your first time on the bus, all the exciting books we read together, and how much your teacher loved you.