I thought I'd go through pictures, to find a few for the post I was writing yesterday, but that brought back so much, and looking through thousands of pictures over several hours helped me see some themes that have run through many of the 21 years I've spent working with children. I got teary... several times... and found myself thinking about the song Seasons of Love, from Rent. The song asks: how do you measure a year in a life?
I wonder, how many birthdays have my kiddos celebrated with me? How many cupcakes have I helped children to bake?
How many meals have I served? Breakfast, lunch and snack for 15 1/2 years... this number blows my mind...
How many goats have we milked?
How many pumpkins have the children scooped the guts from, and carved at school?
How many Easter egg hunts have I hosted... and how many eggs have the children and I stuffed for them?
What about masterpieces - or "mess"terpieces?
How many children have I taught? That number is easy to estimate. I've had 132 daycare kiddos, and about 120 first graders, so around 250 children have called me teacher.
Even as some of these numbers are pretty impressive, they don't tell the most important parts of the story of my school: things learned, friends made, and smiles shared.
Those are numbers no-one can know, but my heart tells me that they are enough.
If you are a family member of one of "my" kids, I want to thank you for sharing your child with me! I'd also love for you to leave a comment about what your child(ren) remember about their time with me.