Teachers are in the weird position of thinking about the year in terms of school. While most adults grow out of the "May is the end of the year" mindset, those of us who work in schools know that time is measured a little differently.
This year ended on a high note. I never got to the point where I was pining for the end. If anything, I was kind of in denial! The year seemed to end abruptly, a rug pulled out from under me, and before I knew it, another year of teaching had come to a close.
|My empty classroom, ready to be painted, waxed, and polished for a new year.|
Years like this are a gift. If I'm sorry to see them go, if I'm enjoying myself on those last days, it means my students were wonderful. I was lucky this year to have such great kids.
|Some of the teachers transforming cafeteria 1 into a nightclub.|
We sent them off with a beautiful ceremony and fabulous party. There were tears the night of "graduation" and more tears on the final day of school. Some of these students have been at our school since kindergarten; they truly felt at home there, safe and cared-for. The hallways were home; the teachers were family. I don't like to see my students cry, but it's gratifying to know their experience in our classrooms was such a positive one.
At the ceremony, I was completely blindsided when I received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Optimist Club. I was too dazed for it to all sink in, but the short version is that I was chosen from among teachers at all levels and in all schools in the district (and possibly SWFL).
|A parent got this shot of me accepting the award. I had to give a little speech on the fly...Definitely nerve-wracking!|
I've added this honor to my small (but growing) collection of awards that remind me everyday that I'm making a difference and impacting lives.
More moving still were the cards and thoughtful gifts I received from my students. They truly touched my heart. I won't soon forget this group.
|I don't want to post photos of the kids at the dance, so here's one of Dan (the other 8th grade ELA teacher) and me pretending to gossip about the students at the dance.|
This summer I'll be catching up on some reading for work. I have a few big ideas I really want to implement next year and I need to start planning!
Whoever said teachers have summers off?
I'm sad to say goodbye to this year; I'm glad I have the summer to mourn a little bit...and to grow excited for what's to come.
What is your favorite memory from school?
Did you have an 8th grade graduation?
Wow congratulation on your award, Ali!! Well deserved!! What a way to end a wonderful year!ReplyDelete
I know you teachers hate it when we non-teachers say you have summers off, but I would still love to spend my summer doing work-related reading on my leisure instead of being at an office 8 hours a day....just sayin :-)
Happy end of the school year!
It's definitely nice not to be a slave to the bell all summer. My life is controlled by the intercom all year...I love having the freedom to pee and eat whenever I want haha!Delete
This year's graduates were my very first first graders. I'm sad I won't see them anymore, but...happy summer to us. :)ReplyDelete
Oh WOW! I know these kiddos will come by to visit. So many of them were lifelong Gators that they were in tears at the idea of leaving our school.Delete
Congratulations on your award! You sure have quite a collection of teaching awards. :) I bet the kids are sad to move on. I hated leaving behind teachers that I loved!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I feel like now I'm in competition with myself to get something new every year. This could get dangerous...Delete
Congratulations on your award! I'm not surprised to hear that your hard work and passion for teaching is being recognized. You really seem to love what you do!ReplyDelete
I really do...Some days more than others, but overall, I can't imagine doing anything else.Delete
Congratulations Ali!!!! I bet you are a phenomenal teacher and the kids love you. :) I finish school on June 30 which seems so far away!!!ReplyDelete
June 30?! When do you guys start?! 20 days...you can do this!!Delete
Wow what a beautiful award - congrats to you! What a great way to end the year!ReplyDelete
Looking at your pictures of the classroom and cafeteria brings me way back. I don't think I've been on a middle or high school campus in a decade or more. Memories!!
Did you happen to hear the semi-recent news story of the little girl who had her hot lunch taken away from her (in front of her friends) in her school cafeteria by one of the lunch ladies because her lunch account was past due? The lunch lady took it away from her in the middle of her eating it and threw it into the garbage! I can't even believe it ... And the comments on the article I was reading were just infuriating. Of course most people agreed that it was an awful thing to do, especially to throw it in the garbage, but others were saying "this was the right thing to do, it teaches our youth that you can't just get everything for free." >:(
OMG that story makes me SO MAD!!! I hate when people can't step back from their "bootstraps" politics to see that punishing a CHILD because their parent didn't/can't fund their school lunch isn't the right way to go. Ever. That breaks my heart!!Delete
On the flip side, I just heard a story of a cafeteria worker who gave a child free lunch and was fired for it. She knew she was breaking the law but couldn't stand to see the kiddo go hungry. So there are still people out there who know how to do the right thing, even if the school districts often don't.
Chicago Public Schools recently made its lunch program available to everyone, in part to avoid this kind of stigmatizing experience (and with so many kids eligible - 85% overall, 99% in many neighborhoods - it probably cost more money to administer than to just open it up to everyone).Delete
That is a beautiful award! Congratulations!ReplyDelete
We did have an 8th grade graduation but I was away on summer travels already by then and missed it.
I had an 8th grade dinner/commencement from what I remember. Many of our teachers are like, "We didn't have 8th grade graduation, and now they have graduation for kindergarten and all the other grades." It seems a bit like overkill, but I think graduation for 8th grade is fun!Delete
Congrats on the the award!ReplyDelete
Thank you :o)Delete
Congratulations on the award! That is so awesome! And happy end of the year! This is my first weekend of summer vacation and I have spent it sitting around because I am so exhausted. Why does the beginning of a vacation always make me feel like I was hit by a train??ReplyDelete
It does take awhile to feel like a normal person. I usually spend the first day of vacation sleeping...like, all day haha.Delete