Usually I don't like receiving gifts from students. I feel awkward (they shouldn't have), and I'd rather they wrote me a nice card or note (those I save). But. Yesterday a senior I've had for 3 years gave me a plant and a great note. Apparently, the plant is an offspring from one of his plants he's had for 11 years, so he writes that he's leaving a legacy of himself with me. He also decorated the pot with funny things he remembered from class. I'm tearing up just thinking about it. What a sweet and memorable thing to do.
It's going to be hard to say goodbye to the ones I've known for that long (most of them :) ). AND. After next year, there'll be kids I've had for 4 years. That will be harder. I don't know that that will ever happen again because I don't seem to be teaching geometry and algebra 2 next year. I love teaching calculus and precalculus, but I'll miss the goofiness of some of the younger kids from geometry. Maybe that's a blurred memory talking there.