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Today as I was leaving work after a 12.5 hour day (parent teacher conferences) I stood for a few minutes in my classroom. The lights were off and the only light was coming in from the sunset in my window. As I stood there I felt at home. I looked at the mess on my desk, the pencil shavings on the floor, the art on my walls, and I was filled with a sense of calm. I asked my friend, Siri, the meaning of the word home. She told me that home is, "the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or a household. An institution for people needing professional help or supervision. The goal or end." Thank you Siri, for giving the perfect definition for teaching. My classroom over the past two years has been my home. It is where I am the member of a classroom family, where I give help and supervision, and it is the goal or end. In my classroom it is a place of learning for myself and the kids. My classroom is a place where love can be felt constantly. I adore my 21 students. I believe they are the greatest things that have ever happened in my life. Some of my students I have now had for almost two years. Others I have had only for this year. All of my students bring something to the table. They all bring joy and they all bring laughter. Knowing I won't get to move up to 4th grade with them is almost heartbreaking. They have been my firsts. They have been the first kids I have taught on my own. They are the first kids to know all of my moods. They are the first kids to know how to push my buttons. They are the first kids to laugh at my jokes. They are the first kids to see me dance. They will always be my first. I know as this year ends I'll appreciate every moment I get with them. Next year will be different. I imagine this reality will sink in sooner or later. I'll love my kids next year, but they certainly won't be the first students to find a place in my heart. They won't be the first, but they'll still make my home a place where I always want to be.

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