June 13, 2015

The end of the school year as a teacher is filled with mixed emotions. Joyous about the fact that there is an end of a year and sad as kids you have become attached to for 10 months are leaving you!  For me, it presents different emotions.  Time to purge stuff I haven't looked at all year and a time to reflect.  I always think about what I would have done differently and what will be different next year.  What will I really focus on during the summer?
Yesterday was the last full day of school.  We have to make up one due to snow from last winter.  The day was filled with fifth graders wandering around getting signatures for their yearbooks.  One kid came by my office for a signature and I asked him if he was happy school was ending and if he was excited for middle school.  A resounding "NO!" was his response.  He went onto say that he and the school were like the north and south pole, attracted to each other.  I have never heard a child explain it like that!  He said, "I am attached to this place.  I've been here for 6 years!". Ah, the effects that we have on kids are tremendously powerful.
I think about "Opening Day" and how everything was so fresh and new you could smell those new crayons and supplies throughout the building and the bulletin boards beamed with messages of "It's Going To Be A Great Year!" and all the students' names on different figures representing some sort of theme! But now the bulletin boards are bare, trash cans overflowing with butcher paper, old border and lots of remnants of desks emptied out.  It's sad...
But as educators, we get "do-overs"!  I love that about my job!  We can compartmentalize years and get a clean slate every August!!  We have beginnings and ends and a chance to do it better next year!
A word about summer to those who think we just sit around drinking cocktails, living the life..it's the really great teachers that continue to grow during our summers "off" by taking classes and honing our craft so that we will hit the ground running when we open our doors for business in August!  Here's to all the great teachers! Enjoy your summer and keep learning!

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