Thursday, June 4, 2009

End of the School Year Reflection

Today marks the last full-day for students for the 2008-09 school year. It is bittersweet in so many ways...

--This is my 1st year teaching 8th grade. It's different emotionally at the end of this year than my prior 7th grade teaching years. I know that when my students leave tomorrow, I will likely never see most of them again. In the past, I'd see my students in the hall the following school year. Or hear about them "through the grapevine" from other teachers. Some would make it a point to seek out my classroom and visit to update me how their year was going. This year, my students will venture on to high school...

--I grew up in a small Ohio community. There were only 3 high schools in the entire county. All of the students who attended my middle school filtered into the same high school I attended. We had 7 years (or more for those who knew each other from the various elementary schools) of friendships by the time we graduated our senior year.

--My teaching community is the total opposite. Duval County has 30 middle schools and 20 high schools. My students this week have been excited at the prospect of beginning high school, but also slightly disheartened that they will be separated from their friends, as they will not all be attending the same high school next year.

--My principal announced yesterday that he will be leaving our school at the end of the month. The county opted to "switch" him and another principal. I don't understand why, as our school and the school he is going to are both "A" schools. (Usually our county swaps "A" principals with "C" or "D" principals in an attempt to raise the school grade.) He stated at our faculty meeting that he does not want to go, but that in this economy he is grateful to have a job and will go wherever the county places him.

--Mr. N is the best principal I've had in my 6 years of teaching. He is a goal-oriented team player. He is approachable and wonderful to work with. The faculty is all a little "on edge" as we are now anxious about the incoming principal... Though not fair to pre-judge her, it seems impossible for anyone to adequately fill our current principal's shoes. Sighs.

--On a totally-doesn't-relate to anything note: This year I wrote a Haiku during the time my students were working on poetry projects. I really like it, so am going to type it here. (Haikus are Japanese poetry in which the first and third lines have 5 syllables, and the middle line has 7 syllables.)
Shiny, big, round, clear
Blow them on a sunny day,
Floating, falling, POP!

What do you think? :)

--All in all I've had a good year. I still LOVE the students here, especially as compared to my prior school. They are much better behaved and more respectful. (I wasn't called a "bitch" once this my old school students cursed at the teachers on a frequent basis!)

--I do miss my prior faculty. Moving from a school with a teaching team of 40 to a team of 100...I lost the "family feel." However, I've made some teacher friends. The reading department has bonded and I feel connected with the other 3 reading teachers.

--I eagerly look forward to next year when I will be teaching only READING! (No more language arts and reading combo--hooray!) Reading is my passion, and I am pleased I will once again have more time to devote to the curriculum and to differentiating instruction in order to meet the needs of my students.

--But first...the last day of school. Hugs. Tears. And then summer!


Beautiful Mess said...

Nae's teacher last year cried when all the 5th graders left to go to middle school, so i totally know what you're saying. It really is bittersweet. We're getting a new principal too! I'm torn about it, because she has been there since we started at this school, 4 years ago. Oh well, nothing we can do about it, right? Gotta go with the flow. Happy last day. I wish you tears of joy and lots of pride in a job well done!

Danifred said...

Horray for summer!
Sorry you're losing your principal, hopefully you get someone who you enjoy working for/ with!

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Your haiku is fabulous! I hope that you enjoy your summer and not let anxiety about your new principal interfere in your fun. Do you have any big plans? (other than hanging out in front of the A/C?)

tbonegrl said...

Congrats on the end! I cried like a baby this year for no good reason! I hope your new principal is good. I am worried about what next year will look like for us with our pretty much new principal and new VP.

Anonymous said...

I like the Haiku- I think I may play around with making my own! Happy last day of school and I hope your goodbyes were full of happy tears too!!!