Life Lessons From Elementary Students- Part 1

Today is my last Monday as a teacher. Typing out that sentence is bizarre, surreal and just plain weird. I spent 4 years in college and 8 years teaching in an elementary school and 2 years in Graduate School while continuing to teach. The last 12 years of my life have been dedicated to teaching and education. And I do not know if I will ever teach again.

Yes, I will be teaching Owen. And yes, I will tutor. But as far as having an official classroom of my own again, that is a big unknown. I am okay with that unknown. Because it means I will be home with Owen. New adventures and lessons will happen. But leaving teaching is sad. And scary. And surreal.

I have been talking with friends lately about my legacy as a teacher. The most important legacy I hoped to have left behind is kindness. Kindness to my students and to my colleagues. Of course I hope my students learned a thing or two, but if the only lesson they remember is to be nice to each other, then I believe I have fulfilled my purpose.

Over the years my students have taught me so many life lessons. There are 5 lessons in particular that I want to remember. Each day this week, as this chapter of my life finishes writing the last 5 pages, I want to remember these lessons.

Today’s lesson is overthinking. My elementary students have taught me to stop overthinking everything. I am a terrible, horrific, no good, very bad over-thinker. It causes stress in my life. Overthinking literally makes my heart and head hurt. Overthinking is a talented skill of mine, but one that I hope to slowly remove from my life.

My students have helped remind me to be in the moment. Make a decision, stick with it and move on. This is not to say that they do not overthink ever. But they definitely do not do it as much as I have in the past. And if they do, then they learn from it and move on. And they realize that life should be more about being in the moment and having fun, instead of worrying about which choice to make and what that decision will mean for the future.

If my 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade students could tell me one thought about overthinking I believe it would be this: “Mrs. S, stop overthinking. Have fun. Don’t worry, be happy”.

Here’s to being happy, living in the moment, and not thinking too much about this giant leap I am about to make in 5 days. I am happy. No more thinking needed.



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