UPDATE!!! Closer than believable…Monday is 13 Days Until First Time, Last Day. I have continued my countdown until school is out for good. I started with 34 Days Until First Time, Last Day. At least, it will be out for good for one person. Me. It is difficult to fathom such a major event, yet a somewhat happy/sad event. I am so very near to the point of retiring. It surprised me when I checked the calendar. I actually counted the days three times. This surely was not correct. I had only 34 days to bring about some miracles in my classroom. Now 13 days? No way!
I can’t retire until Table #1 stops talking continuously. Doubt it will happen. I think that I should be the one with the most words to say. I certainly can’t retire until Table #2 has each and every child finish a project at the right time. Probably won’t happen. I can’t retire until Table #3 doesn’t straighten up by piling papers and crayon containers in a giant pile. Certainly won’t happen. I can’t retire until Table #4 learns to come to circle the first time that they are asked to join us. Absolutely won’t happen.
OK…I know. Nothing is perfect. At least, they are somewhat working together. In the real world, everyone working together in a rather congenial manner may not ever happen again. I still need some miracles. I can’t get past my hopes for these children from back in August. Did I do everything I could for them? Did I make them feel welcome? Did I listen to their stories? Did I realize when someone had slept only three hours the night before? Why only three hours? Did I give everyone a chance to answer enough questions? Did I make learning fun? Did I make learning serious enough? Did I help a parent learn to be a parent? So many questions.
And yet…I know that I gave it my best. I gave them answers to their questions. If I didn’t know the answer, I found the answer. “Why do boy and girl lions look so different?” Well…let me see. “Why do clouds make shapes like Superman?” Well…let me think a little about it. “Why do you like to read books to five year old kids?” Well…do you have an hour to hear my answer? “Where do all the teachers sleep at night? In the cafeteria or the gym?” Can you repeat the question? “How old are you?” Well…”How old do you think that I am?” “We all think you are about 25″…good counting, I say to myself. I better keep coloring my hair. Maybe I need bright highlights.
When I get the highlights, I will remember my last class. They laughed so loudly. They laughed so freely. They learned all of the letters. They learned all of the sounds. They can read some words. Some can read a lot of words. Some can read chapter books. They learned to count. They learned to count by fives. They learned to count by tens. They learned to mix colors. They learned how to make a mess mixing colors. They learned how to clean up the mess.
They learned all about school. I hope that they always like school and I know that some might not always like school. They learned about friendship. I hope they remember why they need friends. They learned how to get milk in the cafeteria and how to hold a tray. They learned some rules.
Rules like ***walk, don’t run…especially in the hall***try to use an inside voice most of the time***cry if you have to, smile when you can***work first, then play…my favorite rules.
There are also some rules for me. Enjoy these last 34 days. Take pictures. Lots of pictures. Teach them every funny song that I know. Remind them to try their very best at everything they do. After all, that is our class motto. They don’t realize that our motto for the class of 2015-16 is the exact same motto that every one of my classes has had. Eighteen years of classes. And this is my last class. What a special last class. Memories.
My last time with my class is only 13 days away. I still feel the same way as I did when I first wrote this. I will not ever forget these children or any of the other children that I have taught. Not just memories, but cherished memories.