This is a time of newness. Spring. New things are budding. The sun lingers longer in the sky. I embrace the fresh smell of the dirt with all the new growth pushing through. It is a time of big change. With big change comes appreciation, but also adjustments. I have had most of my students for first and second grade. At this time of the year I start to think of letting them go in June. There are some guiding questions. What do I need to make sure they don’t forget about math? What are the most important lessons as writers I want them to hold onto? The joy of learning must take the driver’s seat in these last weeks of school. Just as it is critical to start the year off on a positive note. It is also critical to let joy drive the learning at the end of our journey together. Even though there is sadness in my heart when I look at the little faces I have laughed with, cried with, and loved for the last two years, I will push forth a smile through the spring mud. There will be singing when they forget how to transition quickly enough. There will be forgiveness and reminders when there are learning materials everywhere! There will be listening. In rapt attention, I will listen to their lovely language they have developed in our community. Their voices will continue to fill each other with wonder until that very last moment before we say goodbye. Cherish it. It will go fast.