Thursday was the day, all laughter and in-jokes and awards won and presents given, and then suddenly, twelve noon, time to go.
That moment when you look around the room at those little guys you've spent so much time with - whose tears you've wiped, whose laughter you've earned, who you've spent more time with than any other people on the planet over the nine to ten months of the school year, and you realise, it's done.
And now it's time to move on to other things.
I always feel a little like a mother duck setting her ducklings off on their first big solo journey!
It's a moment that always tingles. A catch in your throat, watery eye sort of moment, knowing that other things await you all. So you swallow hard, keep it together, and shake those little hands and send them off for adventures and fun and relaxation.
And when the goodbye-ing is done, and the parents have patted your back and wish you happy holidays, you head back up the stairs to your classroom.
It feels quieter. Colder. Smaller.
And then you catch a glimpse of the pinboard. Festooned with thank yous and hand drawn notes and long, grateful letters noting hard work and dedication and kindness and love.
And you cry.
Great big round salty tears roll down your cheeks as you realise that it's done. And it was good. The boys have all grown up this year, and in some small way you've helped. This moment is bittersweet, but worth savouring.
And then you wipe your tears, blow your nose, take a deep breath and realize...
...you're on holiday.
PS To any and all of my badgers, if you read this: WELL DONE for a super year! I am so proud of you all and can't wait to hear all about your holidays and to see what brilliant things you achieve in the years to come. Have a great break!