Student X has already been transferred to another facility.
Today was the day of gathering records, faxing offices, and fielding those terribly annoying pink message slips that somehow pour into one's mailbox at inconvenient times. I collected Student X's texts and journals from his classrooms, and piled them in my office. I looked at the doodling, studied his unsteady written words, and laughed at a terrible drawing he made of me with my "not happy" face on. I let the guidance counselor handle much of the faxing.
The sloths are preparing for an "end of unit" exam, and one of the sloths was particularly disruptive. I looked at her and asked why she was having a major malfunction. She then informed me that she, too, was leaving the school for a private school. She's a bright girl, but the family is having big problems (shelter, and all the instability that brings). So her acceptance to a boarding school is a positive development.
I was sitting in the middle of a meeting in the principal's office when she came to say goodbye at dismissal. She seemed happy. Optimistic. As we all stood up from the conference table to wish her well, I gave her a hug and told her, "You did well in my class, kid. I'm gonna miss you."
She replied, "I know."
"You know that you did well? Or that I'm going to miss you?"
"Both," she said smiling.
The meeting reconvened, and one of the staff looked over at me and asked whether I was tearing up.
Obviously, I was. But just for a second.
Sometime a goodbye truly is underscored with optimism and hope. And her departure certainly reinforced my understanding of such.