Reflections On The Night Before the Last Day of School

Tomorrow, I wrap up my 6th year of teaching. My 7th graders are almost 8th graders!
  1. What a year. Overall, what a good year.
  2. This year, I had new challenges - a lot of new things on my plate.
  3. I took on several leadership positions - curriculum rep, Staff Council member, head of the cheer program, unofficial interim team leader.... A lot. But WOW did I learn a lot.
    I have so much more to learn about being an instructional leader, but I have really enjoyed the work. But it is also clear that I have no interest I being team leader - can't wait until mine comes back from maternity leave next school year!
  4. I also had some new challenges in the classroom.
    To be totally frank, my largest set of gifts lies in work with gifted/accelerated kids. But I also teach special education students, and I do love those kiddos! I saw SO much growth in them this year.
  5. I had students who hadn't been in a mainstream classroom for academics in years - and they did so well! And they built real, genuine friendships.
  6. I saw all my kids learn so much about compassion, patience, and empathy.
  7. I worked more closely with our social work team than I ever have before, and saw the benefits of their tireless efforts and our partnership reap incredible benefits.
    And learned about working with a person you have a crush on, but that's a different story.
  8. My kids read Mark Twain. They wrote horror stories and argument essays. They read Edgar Allen Poe and Nikki Giovanni and mythology and books of their own choosing they were excited about. They got better at writing I complete sentences and using the right pronoun and identifying linking verbs.
  9. They learned words like superfluous and intermittent and ambiguous and brevity and ephemeral.
    We really love our 7th grade vocab 😃
  10. And we learned about respect, and paying attention, and that listening means not talking, and that iPads are distracting, and that anyone can learn.
  11. We learned about the universality of human emotions and how much we have on common.
  12. My kids taught me to relax, to laugh at what I can't change, to dream big, to give more hugs, and some inappropriate jokes.
    What's the cheapest kind of meat? Deer balls, because they're under a buck.
  13. Tomorrow the bell will ring at 2:40, and we'll put them on the bus, and all the teachers will stand on the sidewalk and wave as the busses drive away.
    A tradition I totally love 💖
  14. At 2:50, I'll be happy they're gone and that I'm free for the summer!
    Minus the incredible amount of cleaning
  15. By 3:00, I'll miss them.
    And l'll be so happy I have one more year of seeing them in the hall and their coming back to visit.