Your Gym, Our Gym...My Gym


How lucky I am, to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard -A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)

Dear Parents,

As we prepare to pack up our gym, and empty the space where incredible memories were made, I realize there are some things I'd like you to know...

I want you to know I don't need to dismantle brightly colored equipment or pack up toys and swings to remind me of my work. I don't need to write farewell emails, change our voicemail greeting, or give last stamps and last hugs in order to solidify my role as a My Gym teacher. I don't need to lose access to our online database, or cry in front of students and parents, to realize my whole heart has been here for a very long time. Bottom line, I don't need to lose this gym in order to know what a gift, pleasure, honor and privilege it has been to watch your children grow, because I've always known how rare and unique this work is.

Over these next few days, we will be burning and shredding the contracts you signed; proof that you are every bit as committed to your child as we are. We will be packing up the equipment we encouraged your children to balance, tumble, walk, climb, rock, flip, swing and hang on. We will, one last time, fold the mats where we taught your children to land on their own two feet. The swings your children couldn't wait to ride will be put into storage and sensory objects--referred to as "Surprises"-- traced by tiny fingers, balanced on precious heads, observed with inquisitive minds will end up somewhere, other than here. These are the elements that kept your children coming back. These are the ingredients, that gave you faith in our program and inspired me to be a lot more here and a lot less there.
And of course, the most important ingredient...Circle Time.

Circle Time really is the best time. Each time I called your children to join me around the Big Red Circle, a little voice whispered to me, pay attention. Hold onto this. Remember. It urged me to listen, with my whole body, to the experiences of being a My Gym teacher. As my students practically fly full speed ahead to plop themselves in a spot that speaks loudly to them, the voice encouraged me to not go through the motions, but to fully absorb children saying their name, sometimes for the first time, mirror my movements and laugh unabashedly. This voice asked me to separate myself from what is irrelevant and unite with what's happening in real-time. It wanted me to acknowledge that every Circle Time could very well be my last and that it ought to be cherished. Circle Time speaks the universal language of connection. It knows there are voices to be heard, songs to be sung, questions to be asked and ideas to be shared. Circle Time solidifies my place in the world as a teacher, and assures me that I'm not the only one who knows how special it is.

To the children, parents, nannies, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, cousins, siblings, Aunts and Uncles who've come into my life, I thank you. I thank you for allowing me to connect with you and your family, for allowing me to witness first steps, first words and bursts of confidence. Thank you for your willingness to engage with me and for allowing me to be so easy with my love. Thank you for seeing my passion for My Gym and for allowing me to show how proud, moved and softened I often felt, seeing your children step out of their comfort zone and move through their wild and carefree lives.

Most of all, I thank you for joining me around the Big Red Circle; for building community, creating intimacy, and for knowing you and your children are very much seen and heard.
How lucky I have had something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
All my love, Teacher
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