Saying Goodbye to Tom

About a month and a half ago I was informed by my sponsor teacher that Tom was officially accepted into Nuko, a school to help students who need more one on one time to increase their success rate. When my sponsor teacher was informed he was filled with joy that Tom would now have an opportunity to grow in an environment that fits his needs. Although there was joy for Tom’s future there was also many feelings of sadness. Tom’s departure also meant that the class’s spark of energy would be leaving within the next week.

Once I found out that Tom was leaving I ensured that I made it into the classroom to have the opportunity to interact with Tom a few more times. On arrival to the classroom I could instantly tell that Tom was off, he was upset, he was not himself. I approached him and asked him how his day was going and he responded with a simple “Meh, I’ve had better days” and completed the interaction with a shoulder shrug. This was NOT like Tom at all, the Tom I knew always had a spark in his eyes ready to make someone laugh. After this interaction Tom went outside for recess and interacted with his peers.

Once back inside a duty came in and told us the sight she had seen during recess. Tom had gone around to all of his friends he had made at this school since kindergarten and said his farewells and hugged his friends that gave him permission (which was rare for him to ask permission). Tom had shown that this change in his life was already helping him grow.

It was now time for the class to go to technology and my sponsor teacher pulled him aside and asked him to speak to us for a moment. As Tom came over to the desk he was calm again which was unlike him for the early afternoon. We asked Tom how he was feeling and he became even more quiet, which lead him to say that he was scared. He was scared to move schools, to loose friendships, and to not be as successful as everyone expected him to become. Tom knew the reasoning behind moving schools and he made us aware that he knew. This conversation turned into tears but quickly was brought back to a smile when success stories were shared with Tom of other students who had moved there before. We shared pictures and discussed him coming back to visit the classroom.

When leaving Tom it was bittersweet because he had brought me anxiety and worry within my teaching but turned out to be a student who will forever stay with me and my career as a teacher.

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