BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


Leave a comment

Another Year in the Books

schools-out1.jpg

The 2017-2018 school year has (finally) come to a close, and what a year it was.

The final week of school seemed to stretch on and on as a result of the six days lost during our unforeseen walk-out. The final day for kids was originally May 24, and for many families, that’s when school ended. Vacation plans were already set, or parents were just ready for their kids to be done, so they were.

Others held on, past Memorial Day, into this week. It was a slow dwindling. My class of 28 became 26, then 19, then, by yesterday, only 13. Our day was pared down, too, only three hours. Those kids helped me move out of our old classroom and into my new one, down the hall. They hauled books and boxes and totes and posters. They organized bins and texts and art supplies. They made a huge job so much easier.

They also played. The kids brought board games form home, and I had several decks of cards, and they played with one another in a way that isn’t usually possible during the school year. They were patient with one another, and they were encouraging, but they were also competitive. They had had a great time. Even on the last day of school, they had things to reveal to me that I hadn’t seen before.

I will miss these students, as I miss all the kids who have come through my room. Each year the group has its own dynamics, and each group leaves its mark on my heart. This year is no different. I’m honored to have been their teacher.

 


4 Comments

Poetry Under the Stars

cfdf6f2043474768542b0bbd1db9a9a6.jpg

We had an event at our elementary school Wednesday evening called Poetry Under the Stars. It was the first year for this event, but I think it will be back in the future. At least I hope so.

Our phenomenal powerhouse of a PTA president approached me with the idea of hosting this event, and she asked for my thoughts. I’m not shy about putting in my two cents, and I do love kids and poetry, so I shared my thoughts and agreed to help out.

A flyer went home asking kids to a submit a poem if they would like to read at the event. The response was overwhelming. Old favorites showed up (there was plenty of Shel Silverstein shared) and original poetry by our own students was submitted. We took them all.

The kids arrived at school in the evening with their families and blankets and fortified themselves with hot cocoa and cookies. Then they entered the “Poetry Pit” for the event. One of the very few benefits of having a school that was built in 1975 is that there are giant concrete “pits” with stair-step levels that allow access to the lower level classroom of our split-level school.

Okay, so maybe they aren’t a benefit most of the time, but for our event the pit was transformed. A microphone was hooked up, and beautiful starlight illuminated the back wall, which displayed some cool fifth grade artwork.

One by one our little poetry buffs made their way to me and the mic and read their poems for the appreciative audience. Even a few of our kindergarteners shared poems, and they were adorable.

I have to tell you, in my role as MC I got to stand near every kid as they read, and during the entire event I think there were only three mispronunciations. Incredible. Those kids were prepared and confident!

In all we had kids sharing poetry for nearly an hour. Last I heard there were fifty-one kids who read a poem. Fifty-one kids showing up for literacy, and all of them brought along people who cared about them. What an amazing thing. What a wonderful thing. What a community commitment to our kids.

Say what you will about testing and common core and “kids today,” but events like this one remind me that I still have the best job in the world.


4 Comments

And Just Like That, Summer’s Over

images.jpgI know it’s just the end of July, and for many of you that means the middle of summer, but not for me and my colleagues. Tomorrow we head back to school to get ready for our students, who start the following week. Every year I feel like it’s just too early, but maybe that’s because I grew up where school starts after Labor Day, you know, in September!

Oh sure, we get out in May so we have the whole month of June and most of July off, but c’mon, it’s still summer. Roast-y, toast-y, blistering hot Summer. My pool is 92 degrees, and that’s without a heater. The pavement is too hot to walk on, so the dog is cooped up inside, but she doesn’t mind. It’s too hot for her taste too.

But I digress. Yes, I chose to live here, and I do love it, even though I just replaced my car battery yesterday. Again. They don’t last long here.

But school? In this heat?

It means heat advisory days with indoor recess, which makes everyone a little cranky. Not a great way to start the year.

Oh well, it’s coming whether I’m ready or not, and really, I’m just about ready. I’ve seen my class list, I’ve moved around all my furniture, I’ve even spent a few hours leveling my classroom library (don’t worry, that’s just teacher talk).

I’m looking forward to meeting my new students and their families, working with my colleagues, and, yes, getting a paycheck again. I’m not looking forward to waking up early, feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day, and hoarding my precious free time. You take the bad with the good, though, right?

So for all you teachers heading back to school, make those last days count, they slip away too quickly.