I find it hard to believe that a whole week has passed since I made the last Friday post. Yet somehow it also seems like so much has happened in such a short space of time. I finally got to meet my students on Monday. 12 little 6 & 7 year olds, all with their own personalities, strengths and ambitions, on loan to me for the next 10 months. The joy of seeing 7 of them that I had in my Kindergarten class only two short years ago – how they have changed and how they have stayed the same. Watching children grow is bittersweet. Gone are their lisps and chubby cheeks, replaced by a new confidence and independence as they complete tasks they only dreamed of two years ago. And yet there are snippets there of the young ones I used to know, a distinctive laugh, a bright smile, the sense of humour that still brightens my day. How blessed I am to be a part of their lives again, to get to watch them grow in this way. If I can’t be a parent, than surely this must be the next best thing. And oh the goals I have for them already! For this one to gain confidence, for that one to have a chance to shine, for another one to discover the joy in learning, for yet another to find pride in a job well done. And my goals for all of them – to learn to solve conflicts, to encourage each other, to be good people, to care about each other, to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. 10 months seems like a long time, but I know it will pass like a blink of an eye (although I know there will be days that it will feel like an eternity…) and yet, in the end, I know it will feel like there is never enough time. It’s a strange job I do. I will pour all of my time, creativity and energy into these 12 little lives in the next 10 months, set goals with them and help them reach them, teach them what I can, and then I will say goodbye and pass them on to someone else. Many of them will not even remember me and recall only snippets of our time together as they grow into adulthood. And I will repeat the whole process year after year, falling in love with a roomful of young ones only to say goodbye in what always seems to be too short a time. Yet the reward of the little face that looks up at you on your first day of school and says “Boy am I glad to see you!” outweighs the challenges you know are to come. Yes, it’s a strange job that I do, a difficult job, but a good one.