How Do You Say Goodbye?


The end of two years together has finally come – like it always does.

Today I said my traditional farewell to all sixty of my Crazy Eights by reading them a personal letter from me (during which I always blubber like a fool and cry) and then we huddled together and watched a slideshow of the year’s events. It was wonderful and awful at the same time – like it is every year.

But at the beginning of this particular school year, I covered one of my classroom tables with butcher paper, painted the words, “FAVORITE MEMORIES IN MRS. D’S CLASS,” and instructed my 8th graders to write the moments that stood out the most to them from last year in 7th grade and anything that happens this year in 8th grade. (I am one of those few blessed to have the same kiddos two years in a row – so there are lots of memories to make and lots of time to build solid relationships with my students.) 

Then I recorded everything they wrote down into one document and printed it out for them today. I want to share this list because what I love most about it is that most students had their own unique moments with me or in my classroom that became one of their favorite memories. Yes, we all shared a lot of these moments – but it was neat to see that their individual personalities were allowed – actually, ENCOURAGED – to appear in my classroom. I don’t teach robots; I teach REAL people with REAL needs and hopes and dreams. And, as this list proves, it’s never my most powerful lessons or life-altering teaching moments that stick so clearly in their memory… No, they remember the moments where I am just a REAL person… with REAL needs and hopes and dreams. So….

How do you say goodbye… to THIS?


Favorite Memories in Mrs. D’s Class – 2009-2011


*I loved it when the cricket got in your hair and you freaked – because I would do that! You are amazing. –Taylor Myrick 

*I liked when you told us about your crazy dream when people were hanging from the ceiling for lunch detention. I also liked when you were on a gnat-killing spree. -Michala Rodriguez 

*I loved having a fan t-shirt-making party for The Lightning Thief and then going to see it together at the movies after school. –Mrs. Dallas 

*We went to your lock-out for church and I fell asleep with my mouth wide open in the van. You took a picture and embarrassed me. Haha. Love you. –Kaitie Sugg 

*Things I liked – I fondly remember the great gnat genocide and when my district won the Hunger Games with my picture – which none of them liked. – Gregor May 

*Whenever we watched Toy Story 3 at the church lock-out and Clay, my brother, started crying. –Kalie Wells 

*I loved the Hunger Games project – it was a lot of fun. I also loved when the cricket jumped in your hair and you freaked out. –Grace Scott 

*STEVE!!! – Lauren Brouhard 

*I liked the time when I laughed really hard at the Romeo & Juliet pun and you laughed at me for laughing. –J.T. Liles 

*I liked whenever you killed as many gnats a day as you could and kept count. –Tyler Hickman 

*Naming the frog Mrs. Tolbert after singing to it in talent show practice. –Krystina Hickey 

*When I rolled on the floor covered in glitter. –Jenn Parker 

*We were rearranging the desks and you asked us if we felt like we were on display and I said, “I AM on display.” Everyone laughed. –Crystal Darnell 

*The time all the band people were at competition and the five or so people left in 7th period goofed off. –Gregor May 

*When we trashed Mr. Wilson’s office with workbooks. Then he got revenge. –Mistian Whitehead 

*When I showed up to school to find my room trashed with ripped-up workbooks and pictures of me on security feed breaking into the principal’s office – BUSTED!! –Mrs. Dallas 

*The time we did the “biology” experiment in the door (with the flying arms). –Sonia Pennington 

*Everything with The Hot Zone!! (“Spacesuits.”) – Kaylon Cremeen 

*The Monkey’s Paw play – Layne Harris 

*Lauren Nettleton hiccupped and I said, “Bless You.” –Brook Dauenhauer 

*When Gregor came to school on District Day, looking like a rockstar. Black nails, guyliner, and all. –Mrs. Dallas 

*I remember when 8th period of 2010 owned Trey with tennis balls. That class was great. –Cameron Walden 

*I liked the first day of school when a cricket jumped in your hair. –Clay Walker 

*When StuCo and NJHS did “Lean On Me” for the talent show. –Becca Eaton 

*We were on the bus coming from the lock-out… we said we wouldn’t fall asleep… five minutes later we all did. (I was just dozing off.) –Kalie Wells 

*“It was only just a dream…” with Mrs. D and the Sixlets!! –Taylor Fulkerson 

*The time when we watched, like, five flash mobs in class while we worked… I hope we get to do one. –Becca Eaton 

*Going to the To Save A Life Premiere with Mrs. D & Lauren Brouhard! –Sydney Johnson 

*I love how even though this is a class, it’s super fun! And I love the JavaHouse Fridays and your lunch detention dream about me, Becca, and others. Oh, and the cricket in your hair!! –Lexie Langham 

*When we all got to drink lime and lemon juice for our Tangerine project. –Taysa Parsons 

*When we all got together and decorated Lightning Thief t-shirts! –Emily Mitchell 

*Remember when we “shot” Big Momma (Mrs. Babcock)? –NikkiPop and JimmiePop 

*The time when we acted out the play of Sleepy Hollow and Trey was forced to kiss my hand and put his hand over my face! –Becca Eaton 

*Playing Ninja with our hands in the middle and Mrs. D missed the photo opp due to a dead battery. 

*Doing a tango with Mrs. Tolbert (the frog). –Shayna Johnson 

*Giving Shayna a hard time about flash mobbing! 

*When 6th period sat in front of the SmartBoard with our hands up, listening to “Just a Dream.” –Makenna Pruitt 

*The time when I “rode” Jordan in the Sleepy Hollow play. –Trey Skaggs 

*I liked the whole Pre-AP experience – your class is great! I’m going to miss you! –Kamran McGee 

*The time Trey and Cam argued their hatred for each other. –Jordan Neeley 

*FLASH MOB!!!! – Mrs. D 

*All the days you walked in to 6th period and we had the lights off and were posing – like on Wacky Wednesday! –Krystina Hickey 

*I loved our Cindy Party and book club – and Random Girls! –Rani Armstrong 

*When 3rd period all did the Bernie Jerk! –Emily Mitchell 

*When Mrs. D put us into districts after the Hunger Games and we all came to school in nice clothing. It was hilarious! I also loved how everyone kissed up to Mrs. D. – Kaylon Cremeen 

*Wearing the Sleepy Hollow “headless” hat and “riding” Jordan. – Cam Walden 

*In 7th grade when Mrs. D left the room and Joci and I started singing “No Air” on the iPod… the whole class joined in (even the boys) and Mrs. D spied on us from the hall & got another class to come listen, totally shocked! –Lauren Nettleton 

*Coming to school during our Hunger Games unit to find a path of roses leading to my desk! Thank you, District 20! –Mrs. D 

*The time that we T.P.ed Mrs. Chesney’s room and they REALLY got us back. –Emily Mitchell 

*When Mrs. Chesney’s class decorated your room like the undersea – and left a real FISH in the center of the room. –Ashlyn Freels 

*The Create-Your-Own-Colony project was AWESOME. –Gregor May 

*I will NEVER forget the first day of school when I found a dirty, pinchy cricket IN MY SHIRT right in front of 7th period – and FREAKED. –Mrs. Dallas 

*When several people decorated Mrs. D’s classroom for her 30th birthday! –Becca Eaton 

*When you found the cookie dough story that I wrote last year and told you to always keep! –Kalie Wells 

*I love when you read “The Corsage” out loud and creeped us all out. –Taysa Parson 

*I liked all the times we sat down as a class and read books together. I also liked doing all the projects! –Shawnacy Fulwider 

*When we “stoned” Trey and Emily after “The Lottery.” – Mrs. Dallas 

*Walking around in D.C., having 50 million photo opps (per Mrs. D’s request). –Krystina Hickey 

*I’ll never forget doing the announcements everyday with the other StuCo officers! –Lauren Nettleton 

*I loved JavaHouse Friday! So many good memories! -Madyson Nolte 

*I wish you could come up to the high school with us… -Grace Scott



How do you say goodbye? 
Well, maybe… you just don’t.

Wacky Wednesday – the Sixlets

I love you, Class of 2015!





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