SOL: A Slice of Their Life

It’s that time of the year.


Kids are wiggly.

The end is near.

They feel it.

They are only with me for a few more weeks.

It gives me this sinking feeling, a profound sense of loss.

My fifth graders go on. Excited to go on, yet they know they are losing something. For many this has been their home away from home. It is their first place of learning. They’ve done a lot of growing up here. They feel the end coming.  I hear it every morning when they walk in, “I don’t want to go” and “I’ll miss this place.”

I tell them, this place will miss you.

We have a full calendar ahead. A field trip that inspires and supports project-based learning. Some writing, some responsibilities, some opportunities to give back to the school they’ve been in for the past six years. The busyness is purposeful and necessary. It keeps us from falling apart.

To help me end the year, I’ve got a project of my own. A little something for each student. A goodbye gift.

Every year, each kid holds a space in my heart.  I want them to know what I see in them, what I hope they see, what I’ll remember, what I hope they’ll remember.

I scribe a few a day.  Here are some. Names removed.

Strong and fiery
Destined to change the world
Find a passion outside yourself
and take off

Opinionated and observant

Your silly moments
flow in and out
looking for your voice along with your
pink hat.
There’s wonder in the search.

Perfect curls frame you.
Open up
let the world in
grow into it.

Crafter. Designer.
Your vision grows
as you sketch the image
for the rest of us to see.

Munching a Snickers bar
you flit in.
Poet’s heart
always in motion.

Seer of the possible
find magic in a piece of

Bright eyed, bursting
discoveries await

These are my little tributes to capture them in the moment. A slice of their life.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Read more slices here.




16 thoughts on “SOL: A Slice of Their Life

  1. Julieanne,
    Love these poetry tributes to your students. I wonder if they recognize themselves? And YET I see so much craft in your “showing” in your poetry!

  2. What a special gift you are giving to your students! I know they will treasure their poems.

  3. This truly lets each know you “see” them for the talent that they have and the life they bring to your class. What a wonderful gift for each one!

  4. Beautiful and thoughtful words will help them “unpack” for next year, Julieanne. Each shows how much you will remember too. Enjoy those wonderful kids!

  5. A true teacher!!!! Torn and grateful for the time you get to share with this unique group… Such a conflict as this year comes to its last days… saying good-bye is never easy…right?
    What a great finish- poetic tributes!!!! YAY!!!!

  6. I hope you share these with them – they are beautiful and so clearly thoughtful. Your students are so much more than a number — they will remember you always –no doubt!

  7. What a beautiful gift! We all want to be seen and understood.., oh how you are doing that and more for your students!!

  8. As every other visitor here has said: This is a beautiful and thoughtful gift. I’ll never forget that we found a letter from my father-in-law’s first grade teacher in his things after he died. Some will hold on to this gesture for that long.

  9. Oh MY! What love this shows for your students. What a journey you go on with them each and every year. The poems are perfect. What a sweet gift to each very special unique young person.

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