Today marks the official start to summer break! Woohoo! To celebrate, I slept in until 7:30 and at 10:00 am still in my pajamas. This won’t be my routine every day, I promise, but for today, pajamas at 10:00 is perfectly acceptable.
I have mixed feelings about summer break. It is definitely well earned, and I’ve been looking forward to it, but once it actually arrived, I felt sad.
It’s been a rough year in my little teaching world, with lots of ups and downs. Our district and school went through some major changes. I found myself fighting a whole lot for what I believed in (with grace at times, and at other times with pure frustration, that in retrospect, I wish I had curbed). I had great students. Ones I was sad to see move on. I found refuge in my literacy teaching pals. I may have just hidden in my classroom if it weren’t for them. We laughed, we commiserated. I work with an amazing team of women! Next year will be different, as one of our little group of three is moving on from our middle school. As much as I am happy for her, I am selfishly sad for what we will lose next year without her. My kids rocked their Reading ISAT, but then didn’t do as great as I would have hoped on their Language ISAT. As bummed out as I felt about that, when I graded their final essays I realized it didn’t matter. My students truly grew as writers this year and as important as the state test is, my job isn’t to teach to the test, but rather help create competent and eloquent writers who can articulate and support arguments, who can write narratives that captivate their audience and wrap them up in sensory details. I did that this year. Now at 7th grade were students ready to be published authors? No, but their growth was more than evident and I was proud of them. I went through the interview process for the Boise State Writing Project and didn’t make the cut ( huge bummer, but I’m hopeful about next year). Yet, I somehow managed to get a scholarship for my masters, which I am more than grateful for. I spent a month interviewing for a local charter school and made the top three, but wasn’t offered the job (a blessing in disguise really because as I went through the process began to realize it wouldn’t be a good fit for me). I learned a lot in that month that I’ll take with me into next year, so the interview process wasn’t in vain. I was awarded Teacher of the Year in my district, which totally blew me away. It was not expected in the least. I actually feel a little undeserving, but it’s an honor nonetheless. I wrote new units. I grew. I cried and laughed with students over their writing. I did the hot dog dance with my second period class. I grieved the death of a school. I know how dramatic that sounds, but really I can’t think of another way to describe it. I grieved what we lost this year. I struggled, but I’m hopeful things will get better, that we will build a new vision that all stakeholders can get behind and support. That’s my year, ups and downs included, in a nutshell…or a really long paragraph.
Summer will give me time to recharge. I am looking forward to waking up and eating breakfast with Grace every morning. I’m looking forward to trips to the park, sitting on the patio with a glass of wine or coffee and a book, camping, staying up past ten with no consequence, having friends over to grill and play games, and just getting back in touch with the parts of me I lost touch with this year.