Saturday, June 7, 2008

Summer is Here

Yesterday was my final work day for the school year. It was the clean up your room and turn in all the teacher stuff to the principal day. As with most such things, it's a bunch of hurry up and wait. We had our celebration at the high school in the morning, honoring the people with many years of service, the retirees, and the paraprofessional and teacher of the year. Then it was back to school, it was really kind of boring since I had most everything done already. There is summer school at our campus, so everything had to come home. Not to mention that everyone is changing rooms, so might as well have it all organized and packed.

Now I'm feeling a bit reflective. It was a very interesting and challenging year for me. I was part of three academic teams, yet part of none. A part of the Language Arts Department, yet not. I felt very accomplished as all my students were successful and passed their standardized test. I felt very sad as some children were lost due to situations in their own lives. I felt pity for those students that never seemed to learn from their mistakes, partially due to the limits put upon school discipline, sometimes due to lack of parenting, usually both.

Frustration with administration for lack of communication with staff about major issues in students' lives that being aware of would have helped us be better teachers. Frustration at being told how important my class was, but being pulled from it to cover other classes, which told me exactly how important they considered it and my students. It was an emotionally trying year in many ways and I'm glad to have two and a half months to recover mentally and emotionally.

Next year will bring its own challenges as I will be changing grade levels and subject areas. We will have a new principal and assistant principal. This summer I will be familiarizing myself with a new curriculum, writing lesson plans for a new subject, and preparing materials for the class. I am hoping this experience will enable me to return to Minnesota in a year and a half with my family.

I look forward to going swimming with the family this summer, Eddie Izzard on the 10th, watching some movies in the theater, and hopefully getting a new bike to ride to work next year.