Today was our last full day of school. After yesterday, I thought they did well. Everyone was tired – including staff :-). But, I felt as though we did well. Every group finished their project so they will be presenting them on Monday. They are so excited. They have some great presentation boards and some cute play ideas. My favorite is the group practicing today and I heard their opening line…”please turn off all cell phones”. I had to smile and hold in the laughter. Not one of my students has a cell phone, but how many times have we heard that saying before a presentation or a movie. They really are funny and hear everything! I am excited to have them present. I did this at the end of the year based on their interest. They became very interested in frogs after one of our field trips where we worked with scientists and caught specimens in ponds. Honestly I do not know who had more fun. the kids or their teacher! I LOVE nature! I asked just as many questions as my students. Plus, this is actually a common core module that I am going to be trying next year. So, I quickly adapted it. In other words, think used the jigsaw method and tweaked it to fit the last few weeks of school. Each person was responsible for researching a part (or piece). After each group presents, the puzzle will be complete and they will have learned some great information about frogs. They are very excited! I have to say it definitely kept them engaged. I even saw other groups helping some of their peers coloring in their presentation boards today since it was crunch time. I am REALLY going to miss this class this year. I would have loved to loop with them and was hoping I could. Unfortunately that is not an option, but I tried.
Today was also our end of the year association party. All this year, during professional development days our school has tried to get all of our school together so we get to know each other. I will be honest, I know very few teachers and staff in other buildings. I know that many do not know me. I really thought it was a great idea. However, on many professional days many staff members called in , as a protest. To me, that was just stupid and immature. I will digress here. I am choosing to be positive. I took part and did try to associate with others. However, it seemed we always went back to talking comfortably with those in our own buildings. Since many had a rough year with the politics, state tests, etc. the association decided that they were going to pay for everything. So, since they want us to meet others, and I do think it is a great idea, I went with friends from my building. We got there, and it was weird. Guess what? The elementary sat together, the middle together, and the high together. Plus, hardly anyone was there. When I first started teaching here, it seemed we were more of a community. Everyone really got along. WE laughed so hard we almost cried some days. Talk about having a great time. However, as the years have gone by, it seems we have struggled. I am not sure why. I have been in many grade levels throughout the years (love being low on seniority GRR) However, I adapt and will go where they tell me. Those that were not going were complaining why go, blah blah blah. Guess what, even though there were few people there, and the buildings did not really mingle together I had a good time. My friends and I chose to have a great time. We had lots of laughs and we ate way too much food (surprise, surprise!) We still laughed. We did feel like ahhh this is nice, the school year is winding down, and we had some time to just visit. The only part where I had an issue was when our association president got up to present the retirees with a plaque. She started out saying how it was a hard year and she really was not very positive. I didn’t like that. Like I have said, being positive makes your life better. However, it is a choice. But, when her little presentation was over, I got over it fast because my friends and I went back to talking and relaxing. I have to admit, we laughed a lot tonight.
After that I stopped at the store to get some stuff for my students. We have busy half days. We have our school awards assembly, and they need to do their presentations they worked hard on. I promise them that we would have another “somewhat competitive” game of tag or Capture the Rock. I also want to just spend time with them talking about their plans for the summer, their goals for next year, etc. I bought all of them beach balls tonight. I have little notes that say have a ball this summer. They are going to blow them up and then everyone is going to sign each others beach ball. I also have some for them to sign to give to the special education teacher that works closely in our room and our assistant. I strongly feel that it is important to work as a team. All three of us worked as a team this year. It was wonderful! Since this was my first year in this grade level, I was not sure what to expect. Now with the year ending I can say it was great! Unfortunately, the special ed teacher has been moved and we will not be working next year. However, the assistant will be (we hope) and she is great. All three of us worked together. It seemed as though we almost didn’t have to communicate and we had ESP as we could feed off of each other and tag team teaching. We always seemed to be on the same page. I loved it! I am sad to see it end, and hope that next year, the new special ed teacher is wonderful as well. I am going to say YES! The special ed teacher and I are hoping that we will still be able to eat lunch together. I refuse to go to our staff room to each lunch. If you want to stay positive, do NOT go to the staff room. I hate it! Talk about begin surrounded by negativity. I usually just ate in my room and worked. However, this year, I was able to eat with the special ed teacher and another teacher who is a great friend. It was wonderful. We had great conversations. We really helped each other to stay positive. It is important to surround yourself with positive people.
So, I will say that I am excited and looking forward to a break. However, I am sad to see this year end. Like I said, this class has gotten along wonderfully! We have focused so much on being a family and community. I am so proud of every single one of my students! I really and truly have! Hopefully I will see some of them this summer when my teacher friend and I do a week of reading camp. I am so excited and have been promoting it. I hope the kids can come! I know they want to come. Again, it comes down to them getting transportation. Either way, I have a week that I get to spend with kids doing one of my favorite subjects – reading! At the end of the week they get to pick out their own free books to take home. We want them to continue reading. It is always nice to see your students in the summer. I do hope that I see some of them.
I am going to keep my head up high as we finish the year. We will finish strong!