The end of school: digital dossiers from seniors, baccalaureate mass, graduation practices (an experience in itself), awards assemblies and dinners, retirement parties, 100,000 junior research projects(almost), PECHAKUCHA, classroom visits by supervisors, performance evaluation, crafting new reading lists, last meeting of all my clubs, planning new clubs, writing notes to my seniors, Senior Prom, GRADUATION, final exam writing, final exam taking, final exam grading, closing out the year on Studywiz, my wiki, my blogs, yearend politicking and WHEN WILL I KNOW WHAT I AM TEACHING NEXT YEAR....
The last two weeks of school went reeling by...I felt out of balance because so much was happening so quickly, that it was hard to reflect or even enjoy it. It is the nature of teaching that if you commit to the "on stage" quality of it, then you also have to deal with the firecracker speed of the good, the bad, and the ugly too. One day you stand in the middle of your room welcoming in your young friends, just like every other day, and then you are reduced to delight at seeing a single twitter post during senior week. This is the way it is supposed to go, the day we have all been waiting for since spring break (so late this year, that this is true).
I know that I need the time to reflect, recharge and enjoy my life. It is part of what makes me a good teacher. And this is what I have been thinking about in my first week off:
We need to separate: I revere our relationship of student and teacher. I am not a Facebook friend--I am old enough to consider it suspect that I am someone's friend just because I click them into my life. It seems to me that some of my students don't have a clear idea of how useful the boundaries between people can be, that "sharing" is not the only way to go. It is not as if they can never find me again-there is email, our blog, this blog, my wikis, goodreads, twitter: they know how to find me if they need me. I cherish them in a way that I do not cherish anyone else in my life, and to alter that unique connection just feels wrong to me. Do I miss them? Yes, I do. But mostly I feel excited and proud to know they are moving onto the next, best part of their lives. And I got to watch it happen for four years.
No real "ugly" in that.