Friday, June 8, 2018

And that's a wrap!

Dear State Bridge Elementary,                                                      June 8, 2018

Thank you.  

Thank you, students, for letting me teach you art for the past six years.  This graduating class was particularly special to me, having taught you since you were babies in Kindergarten.  And, yes, I do have pictures to document your artistic process!  It's also a bit surreal to think of the first SBCE fifth graders I had now getting read to be high school seniors.  I've loved keeping up with those of you who have already graduated from these halls.  I've loved getting to know each one of you and watching you grown as an artist and as a very special human.

Thank you, parents, for the support you've shown me from Day 1.  I love how we've made real relationships.  I've loved how you have supplied me with egg cartons, extra buttons, toilet paper rolls, AND kids who are ready and eager to learn about the arts.  Thank you for joining me in this process and taking them to museums, historical sites, cool architectural spaces, and much more, as that has helped foster a sense of learning on a deeper personal level.  Thank you for also listening to my aches of pregnancy (s), babyhood, and the joys (!) of toddlerhood, as well as giving me advice on how to parent when I have asked for it!  Thank you for showing me that it is more than possible, quite doable, to raise genuinely polite, respectful, kind, and fun young kids in this day.  

Thank you, colleagues, for letting these six years be filled with genuine friendships.  We've experienced laughs, heartaches, and hugs.  Met eyes sharing the same sense of overwhelming, shared stifled giggles, and the perfectly-timed hand-squeeze to make the day seem instantaneously so much better.  Early morning worry and excitement about family, sharing and collaborating about school ideas, and laughing at ourselves for thinking of these cool ideas during the hours of supposed sleep.  Engagements, marriages, babies celebrated as we've mourned moves, divorce and death.  Y'all have been, and are, a very special family.  

It's been a pure joy to work at such a beautiful school filled with creative, innovative, and caring students, parents, and staff.

As I carry your memories and love in my heart, I must say, "Onward bound!"

Allison Elder