Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Today is the last day of school. Actually, it's the last day with students. I still have a week or so of contract days to fulfill because of the voodoo the Board worked with the calendar to make up snow days. But today is the last day I will have this group of kids in my classroom to impart some last bit of wisdom.

I will tell them what I always tell them on the last day. Go forth into the world and be awesome. "You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."

I hope they've learned something from me this year. I have learned from them. I always do. I've had a preponderance of thinkers this who don't simply regurgitate the information I give them, but who synthesize it with their existing knowledge and beliefs and create brand new ideas. I love those kids. They are always my favorites because they make me think about things I've taught for years in new and different ways.

Professionally, I've had a wonderful year. Some of the brightest kids I've ever had the privilege of teaching have made class discussion stimulating and fun. Seriously, I have some kids this year who are scary smart. My toughest class, the one with five EBD kids and no collaborator, has come so far it almost makes me want to cry just thinking about it. A particularly squirrelly boy in that class told me last week he's learned more in my class than he ever has in a language arts class. That's the good stuff, the reason we teach.

Conversely, this year has been hard personally...really hard. Teenage boys will always give you a run for your money, and this year, mine almost took me out a couple of times. I have asked myself repeatedly, "How can I be so successful as a teacher and struggle so mightily as a parent?" The jury is still out on my ultimate success or failure, but this year has been the hardest in my 19 years as a mother.

The law of entropy says that the universe seeks balance in all things, and this year has been an illustration of that law's truth.

Today is an ending, but every ending is a new beginning, right? I'll miss my students, but after a much-needed break, I'll get a whole new crop, and the challenge will start all over again. As for my own kid, a fresh start is the hope we both need right now.

Happy Last Day of School! I hope your day is as good as mine is going to be. :)


  1. Somehow you made me feel capable.
    I will always remember you for it.

  2. Thanks Cynthia! That's a lovely thing to say. I love seeing my former students living happy, fulfilling lives. :)