I wrote last week on the eve before the last day with students, and now I'm sitting in my room, finishing off my last contract day for the '14-15 school year. The room is empty except for my laptop and ipad, and the stacks of books that I'm taking home to read (and steal ideas from) over the summer.
I'm not one to dwell on packing my room up for the summer. I know many teachers who spend days and weeks past the end of contract time to make sure everything finds its proper spot. Those people are organized. I am not one of those people.
I have cupboards. I shove stuff in them. I am done.
I had my checkout meeting with my principal this morning. It was a great year for me. Big changes are coming next year and he's confident I will be able to handle them. I know I will, too, but nervousness is a good thing when it forces me to stay on my toes.
I have a summer full of school work ahead of me: summer training/stepping into my role as the new Head Cross Country coach, ENGCamp (You should come! Four locations throughout Iowa!), flipping grammar lessons, and scouring professional literature for new ways to make writing fun. Don't worry: I'm not a martyr. I will work this summer, but I will not sacrifice so much that I fail to enjoy the break. I tell myself that I have to do at least one hour of something productive for school (not counting XC practice) each day. If I'm on a roll, I keep going. If it's a slog, then I stop. An hour is enough.
I've accomplished many things this year, but the thing I'm always most proud of is when I get something like this:
A sticky note, pressed into my desk without a word. A girl who's fallen in love with writing because of me. A girl who went out on a limb to tell me that she loves me, not just my class or my content. That means something. I entered this profession to spread my love of language. I did that for this girl (and hopefully many others). I did more than just share my love of language.
This note isn't any less important:
Even the small ones count as victories, right?
There's no other job in the world that can do what teaching does. I'll remember that when it's time to come back in August.
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.