Monday, June 30, 2008

The Year in Post Mortem

Wow, I'm still having trouble believing that the school year is over. I'm also having trouble realizing that it actually happened.

The last day was short and sweet, and sweaty too. I had some time to play with the kids (old board games) and take pictures. Most of them gave me hugs when they left. I was surprised that I didn't cry. I think it all happened so fast that I was too overwhelmed to fully process it. I was in shock that it was the end; despite the countdowns and the fervent wishes, it all came so fast. It didn't seem real.

This was a really interesting year. Let us review.

The year started with record low student numbers. I absolutely loved having eighteen to twenty students in the room--it was a quieter, more intimate educational experience.

I came to love (what?) each of my classes for different reasons. The Grey Bunnies were so quiet and easygoing. The Tame Roos were a little wild, but sweet and never dull. The Herd was huge but full of interesting personalities.

For the first year ever, I didn't have a serious discipline/crazy parent problem. There were a couple kids who tried my patience, but they weren't intentionally malicious or cruel. Just run of the mill pain in the ass. :) I really worked the Staredown this year! But on their own, sweet enough kids.

For the first time ever, I realized that I had a good time in the classroom. I enjoyed myself teaching the kiddies. There were plenty of days that I was tired and cranky and irritable, but overall, it was fun. Fun!

Perhaps I can say that because the kids were the only good thing about this year. With the changes in administration, and the lack of organization, communication, and respect for the teachers and our time, no wonder I wanted to sequester myself behind a closed classroom door.

That said, I made a couple new friends this year. September was not a happy time for me, starting a new year with my three closest school friends gone (two out of state, one out of county). I hope that wherever I end up in the fall, I can keep up some communication with these folks that can always make me laugh.

I realized anew how much I love field trips. Even when they don't go well. And to be honest, if they don't go well, it's because someone else organized it. ;) I so enjoy exploring new places alongside my students, watching them have a good time learning. It's also the best time for me to be more Normal Person than Strict Teacher, to build a rapport with the kids.

Apparently, not only have I been a lawyer, I've also been in the military, according to my students. I find both of these to be high compliments.

This year was my best in terms of t#st pr#paration. During our practice in class, the after scores improved for every single student. However, although I haven't analyzed my resulting scores yet, of course there were plenty of 2s. Disappointing.

I have collected a lot of teacher shit in the last four years. And it's all sitting in my hallway right now.

I'm really scared about next year, making a change, deciding on my own future. It makes me nervous to jump out into the unknown. I've done that a couple times in the last decade, but those times I actually wanted to, was ready to. At this point, I'm *mostly* sure that I want to. But the logistics and money have made things too complicated. Stupid adulthood.

This weekend I got a lead that I am really excited about, very hopeful for. I shan't jinx it at this time, but I'm trying to think positive, employable thoughts. :)

Happy First Vacation Monday, all!


17 (really 15) more years said...

I fully understand your wanting to stay sequestered. This year, for the first time, I spent the majority of my prep time and lunch in my room. My AP actually got used to the idea of knocking, because she knew that I kept the door locked even if I were inside my room working. And I can say, with complete honesty, that other than 2 colleagues whom I would be lost without, the kids really were the best part of my year as well.

I wish you so much good luck in your job search. In the meanwhile, relax a bit and enjoy!

Skipz said...

Wonderful post. Thank you. I spend 95% of my time with my students and would spend the rest if I could.

"For the first time ever, I realized that I had a good time in the classroom. I enjoyed myself teaching the kiddies."

I am so glad for you!!