Last year. Last year, my 5th graders were a bundle of energy. They were happy, sociable, and very outgoing. Out of the 22, I would say 15 loved the limelight. They were musical, they could perform on the spot, they were meant to be on stage. They were performers at heart. I realize now, what a special group of children this was (is). Last year, the overall air in my classroom was of silliness and happiness. Yes, it drove me crazy at times, because it was difficult to get their attention, but they were happy. Last year makes me realize how different this year is…the complete opposite. Last year makes me understand how lucky I was to be surrounded by such unique, quirky kids. Last year makes me appreciate and miss smiles. I miss last year. Actually, I think I miss the year before last too…and the year before that…and the year before that. In the world of teaching, you do reach a “last” with every group of children that come your way, and I think this has made me be a more reflective human. All of those “last years” make me who I am as an educator today.