The year ended rather unceremoniously. It reminded me of the last days of college, when you rush around getting your work done, packing up your room and saying good bye to your friends who you know you will see again in a few months when you come back.
Saying good bye to my seniors and to my coworkers who are moving on was difficult. However, I leave with great confidence that I accomplished a lot this year and next year will be much better.
My husband's father, who died many years ago, was a much-beloved teacher. Apparently at his funeral, the church was packed with former students who told my husband what a great man his father was, and how much he had impacted their lives. Several weeks ago, I asked my husband what advice he thought his dad would give me if he was around. He paused for just a moment and said, "Love your kids."
I do--every single one of them, including the one that tried to punch me in the face, the twins that drove me nuts, and the girl who chewed me out in front of her mother and an administrator. I didn't always like them or their behavior, but I loved them enough to demand their best and nothing less. If they have learned nothing else this year and remember me with disdain, at least I never compromised in my goal of teaching them how to be responsible, thoughtful, respectful, productive Citizens of the World. I am ready to do it all again next year, with a new group of kids who no doubt will test my patience, make me laugh, cry, and scream.
Until then, I am going to relax, read (and I am going to read trash!), go to the pool, enjoy my family who has been so patient with me this year, and most important, come up with a name for a new blog, now that I am no longer a first year teacher!