Summer begins for me in just three weeks, and although I'm keeping The Countdown private, I find myself feeling sentimental about the end of this particular school year. This post is personal.
Not long ago, I was at a neighborhood playground with my family, and I witnessed a child protesting about why he had to leave after his mother told him that it was time to go. I understood how he felt, after all he was enjoying his time outdoors on a beautiful Spring day. I also understood that he just wanted more time...more time to climb, to swing, to run around, and to just be a kid.
As I think about transitioning to Middle School come August, I feel a bit like that boy at the playground. I wish I had more time to spend with some students of the past. The things I've learned over the years would surely come in handy if I had the chance to teach former students again. I could correct mistakes that I made. I could establish stronger relationships with them. I could be more effective as a teacher. Just one more lesson...one more project...one more class meeting...
I also wish I had more time to spend with some colleagues of the past. I can't help but think about my late grade partner in particular and how excited she would be to move along with me to a Middle School setting. We could have continued to grow as professionals and as friends had cancer not taken her. Just one more field trip...one more staff meeting...one more hallway conversation...
All I can do is look ahead to the future and think hopefully about the relationships I'll build with my new students and colleagues. And I will cherish the time I get to spend with all of them.
This school year's Spring Break has felt like an extended coffee break. It has allowed me to switch up my daily routine a bit, to get in some neighborhood walks and family time, to think about the remaining 24 days of learning, and to finally post on my blog. A question that has toyed with me for the past couple of days of break is: How can I keep the learning as relevant as Day 1?
This question poked its head out of the ground after I read a recent blog post by Pernille Ripp titled "To the Very Last Day". In her post, she reflected on the message sent to students when we educators do The Countdown. As I finished reading her post, I had to find myself guilty on a few counts.
I'm guilty of doing The Countdown (mentally).
I'm guilty of not approaching some subjects with Day 1 enthusiasm.
I'm guilty of letting the focus shift from engaging lessons to bad moods.
(Break came at the right time, needless to say.)
With just one day left of this coffee (Spring) break, I promise to take Pernille's advice and finish strong. I promise to keep The Countdown private. I promise to leave my mood in the car. I promise to focus whole-heartedly on planning engaging activities, assessments, and projects. I even promise to try something new with my class before the last day of school. (Can you say green screen?) The coffee break ends soon, and the work continues...
My name is