So today is the last day of classes for me. On the one hand, I'm relieved because this semester has been pretty tough. I'd never had this many students (over a hundred) before. I have no TA, so I had to grade all the endless papers, tests, and mini-quizzes myself.
On the other hand, however, I keep fighting back tears all day long. This is the hardest part of a teacher's job: letting go of students. You get to care so much about them that seeing them leave is painful. Thankfully, most of my best students will continue taking upper level courses with me next semester. So at least I will get to see them again.
The students keep coming up to hug me, thank me, or to say something nice. I'd almost prefer they didn't because I don't want to get all weepy in a public setting. After the classes are over, I will lock myself in the office and cry my eyes out. I even prepared some tragic music to accompany the weeping. Have I ever mentioned that I'm a huge drama queen? :-)