Teachers are in the weird position of thinking about the year in terms of school. While most adults grow out of the "May is the end of the year" mindset, those of us who work in schools know that time is measured a little differently.
This year ended on a high note. I never got to the point where I was pining for the end. If anything, I was kind of in denial! The year seemed to end abruptly, a rug pulled out from under me, and before I knew it, another year of teaching had come to a close.
|My empty classroom, ready to be painted, waxed, and polished for a new year.|
Years like this are a gift. If I'm sorry to see them go, if I'm enjoying myself on those last days, it means my students were wonderful. I was lucky this year to have such great kids.
|Some of the teachers transforming cafeteria 1 into a nightclub.|
We sent them off with a beautiful ceremony and fabulous party. There were tears the night of "graduation" and more tears on the final day of school. Some of these students have been at our school since kindergarten; they truly felt at home there, safe and cared-for. The hallways were home; the teachers were family. I don't like to see my students cry, but it's gratifying to know their experience in our classrooms was such a positive one.
At the ceremony, I was completely blindsided when I received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Optimist Club. I was too dazed for it to all sink in, but the short version is that I was chosen from among teachers at all levels and in all schools in the district (and possibly SWFL).
|A parent got this shot of me accepting the award. I had to give a little speech on the fly...Definitely nerve-wracking!|
I've added this honor to my small (but growing) collection of awards that remind me everyday that I'm making a difference and impacting lives.
More moving still were the cards and thoughtful gifts I received from my students. They truly touched my heart. I won't soon forget this group.
|I don't want to post photos of the kids at the dance, so here's one of Dan (the other 8th grade ELA teacher) and me pretending to gossip about the students at the dance.|
This summer I'll be catching up on some reading for work. I have a few big ideas I really want to implement next year and I need to start planning!
Whoever said teachers have summers off?
I'm sad to say goodbye to this year; I'm glad I have the summer to mourn a little bit...and to grow excited for what's to come.
What is your favorite memory from school?
Did you have an 8th grade graduation?