Saturday, May 3, 2008

18 days, but who's counting?

The end of the school year always seems to be rush by you like a blur. Remember when you were a kid, sitting in the back seat of the conversion van (complete with “Disney World or Bust!” handwritten sign that you made the day before left), counting the minutes until you finally can be more than 5 feet away from your younger and annoying sibling, and watching the numerous motorists speed by your window? Depending on the angle at which you are looking, that car could just look like a colored brush stroke that is there for a fraction of a second, and then it’s gone. That’s how quickly the end of the year is for me. This will be my 4th experience with “end of the year” activities, end of the year stress and end of the year excitement. I always mention this, but I feel that you knowing how many years experience I have greatly influences not only my perspective, but it also provides you with a background on my somewhat limited teaching experience.

The kids are working on a fantastic collaborative project called “The 20th Century: The American Experience”. The name is schweet – I made it up myself. As you know, if you are an avid reader of this blog, I absolutely adore integrated units. My mentor, Debbie Shults, showed me what a true collaborative unit should look, smell and feel like for student and for a teacher. I just can’t get enough of those darn units! They take an immense amount of work and time for each teacher on the team, and sometimes there are disagreements, but we put our egos aside and do what’s best for children.

So thankfully we have that unit to keep the kids busy and to keep us preoccupied with actually teaching. Seriously, I am just as anxious for school to be out as the kids are, and it’s not because I hate my job, but it’s because I just need the break! As I age in years with this profession, I begin to see what my retired teacher parents have said for years – breaks are not for the students as much as they are for teachers. But then again, why should I have ever taken anything my father said seriously, especially when he would tell me that flies would come out of the ceiling fan in the bathroom and eat your hair if you didn’t wash it? My dad, by the way, has no hair on the top of his head. He would use his baldness to scare my brother and I into cleaning ourselves well, hair included, because apparently the bugs and flies ate his hair at some point in his life.

My dad also said that the 3 best things about teaching are June, July and August.

If you would have asked me 2nd quarter what I thought the 3 best things about teaching were, I probably wouldn’t have answered the same way my father did. I probably would have deliberated on it for awhile and would have tried to say something honest and profound.

Right now though, I’d say June, July and August are starting to sound like a rather intelligent response.

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