Because It Is #AboutTheKids

Sharing my job news yesterday was an exciting, but also difficult, thing to do! I found myself getting choked up as I spoke to many staff members. I had to hold back tears as I shared the news in person with my principal, Paul. I had many mixed emotions as I talked to my good friends, and even more, as I read comments, received emails, and spoke in person to incredible parents that I’ve worked with over the years. Change is good, but it does often come with the extremes of “happy” and “sad.”

I knew that this was coming. When I found out that I got interviews for positions, I prepared myself for what it might be like if I was offered, and accepted, a job. I prepared myself for the emotional roller coaster in the hope to make myself a little less emotional. Over my nine years at Ancaster Meadow, I’ve taught JK/SK, Grade 1, Grade 2 (in a 1/2 split), Grade 5, and Grade 6. I’ve also done prep coverage for JK-Grade 4. I’ve taught hundreds of students, and many multiple times. For some of the students in my class, this is my fourth time as their teacher. I’ve made connections with their families, and I knew that I would be prone to tears when sharing my news.

What I didn’t prepare myself for was the student reactions. Just before home time today, one student mentioned to the class that I was moving schools. The questions started:

  • When will you be coming back?
  • Can you come and visit?
  • Why would you leave?
  • Can you change your mind?

Students started getting teary-eyed. They made comments like, “You can’t go, Miss Dunsiger!” or “Don’t worry, Miss Dunsiger! I’ll just move to Dr. Davey too. You need your teaching partner.” 🙂 (This second comment made me smile.) With older students that often speak about how eager they are for weekends and holidays, I honestly didn’t expect this reaction from them, and as I went out on bus duty today, I had to swallow past the lump in my throat. Saying goodbye to the kids is going to be one of the hardest things that I do!

A special “thank you” to all of my wonderful students that make me think, question, smile, and laugh every single day! It’s a true pleasure to work with all of you, and I’m going to miss you next year. For the next month, I’m going to take every advantage of learning with all of you … and loving every minute of it! Teaching is #AboutTheKids, and all of you make my job the best one in the world!

How do you work through emotional times? I’d welcome any words of advice as I go through the process of saying, “goodbye.”


6 thoughts on “Because It Is #AboutTheKids

  1. It is so hard! I went through this when I accepted my current role. I never expected grade 5&6 kids to cry! I don’t know why but the boys, in particular, crying really bothered me. It totally broke my heart! I told them that even though I was scared to leave, in life, sometimes you have to do things that are scary and take that risk because it helps you grow as a person. It’s not a goodbye, it’s a “see you later”. Good luck!

    • Thanks Carol! I totally understand what you’re saying. The boys in particular seemed incredibly emotional, and I wasn’t expecting this. They never react in this way in other situations. It totally broke my heart too! It honestly took everything in me not to break down in tears today. I’ve heard the expression before of “it’s not goodbye, but see you later.” Maybe reframing the situation makes things easier! I know that leaving is still the right choice for me, but it’s definitely hard going through the process.

      Thanks again!

  2. When I think of your wonderful way of teaching I am so happy that you have taught my girls. You will be so missed! But how lucky your new school is, you are already making a difference. After I read your email I quickly looked up the school name. once I read the location and the details of the students that attend that school I then understood and felt reminded of how difficult some other students lives are and I am then focased on how these less fortunate students are learning. I think you are the best teacher that I have met, I am so happy that you are taking your experience and your love of teaching to these children and you will make great things happen! Way to go Aviva!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and your vote of confidence! I’ve loved teaching at Ancaster Meadow and working with so many amazing parents and students (your daughters being two of them). Thirteen years ago, I started teaching in an area not far from where I’m going back to teach next year. Yes, there are a lot of students in lower income housing, a large ESL population, and many students working below grade level. But as always, every student is different, and I’m excited to plan (and work with the parents) to meet the various student needs. I’m also thrilled to work with an amazing team of teachers, EAs, and administrators that do incredible things at Dr. Davey every single day. I’m looking forward to a new challenge and a terrific new learning opportunity. I’ll miss Ancaster Meadow, but also remember my wonderful years there! Thank you for being a part of these wonderful years!


  3. Congratulations Aviva. Change is always difficult but almost always turns out to be very rewarding. You are teaching your students yet another lesson-that we need to challenge ourselves to push past what is comfortable for personal growth. Enjoy the love you’ll get from friends, families, and students at AM-you’ve worked so hard there and deserve it.

    One of your former AM friends is also making a move to a neighbouring school for next year and I’m sure you will cross paths. Welcome to the north, you are going to love it down here.

    • Thanks Kelly! Great hearing from you. I really hope that you’re doing well. I’m hoping that our paths cross next year, as we’ll both be down in the North End, and I’m excited to hear that a former Ancaster Meadow friend is moving to a neighbouring school as well.

      When the students started to ask me yesterday why I’m moving, I told them what I really feel: change is good, even if it can be hard. I’m looking forward to this change and excited to go back to the North cluster where I started my teaching career.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *