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End of the Year: “School’s Out for Summer”

End of the Year: “School’s Out for Summer”

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Ready for the End of the Year

The school year has finally come to an end for us in Maryland. We were originally supposed to get out last week, but we used too many snow days and had to make up the hours, so I was in my classroom on Monday. My daughter decided not to go to school for the half-day on Monday. I can’t blame her, they will just be cleaning and/or watching a movie. Marshall’s last day was last Thursday, though he didn’t make it because he had a fever!

Challenges as a Teacher

This year has been full of challenges, and proud moments. It was a year unlike any other. Adelaide started kindergarten (one kid we didn’t have to pay child care for) and Marshall was in MY class. I was a little worried how that was going to go, but he rocked it! Marshall is my sweet, energetic, snuggly, moody little boy and I wasn’t sure how he was going to handle mommy in a different role. He may have done better than me…until closer to the end and then he just wanted mommy snuggles all the time!

The challenges were similar to other years. Behavioral, academic, and exhaustion. The behaviors were, well, let’s just say, the behaviors were BIG! Usually you have one or two kids that will give you a run for your money. This year I had several in one class. Usually I can turn the class around by the time we come back from winter break, but this morning class was particularly challenging. I would make it to lunch and want to cry. But, when those moments happened, I knew my afternoon class would be coming in and they were a much kinder, gentler-on-the-teacher kind of class. The decibel level dropped two-fold in the afternoon where it was easier for me at times to see the impact I was having on the class.

End of the Year Progress is the Best Reward

I love the end of the year, because I love seeing the changes that have come from my students, knowing they’re ready for the next level. This year, like many other years, I was blessed to be able to watch the learning transformation occur. I take these sweet little 4-year-old babies in September and show them what it means to go to school. We probably spend about a month or more on just learning how to be in school. Rules, routines, names, the basics. The first few months of school are exhausting, but it sets the tone for the year. Once we get into the letter learning they really take off! Usually by the end of the year I will have a handful of beginning readers, and this year was no exception.

Another amazing transformation I was privileged enough to witness was Adelaide’s kindergarten transformation. She knew the basics going in, but honestly, I am so burned out by the end of the day that I usually don’t do any academics with my kids (bad mom moment!). But she was prepared for kindergarten, and a friend of mine was her teacher, so I knew she would do well. But she has done so well that I am astonished by what she can do.

Travis and I can no longer spell out words to communicate things we don’t want the kids to know about. I knew that day was coming, but I didn’t realize it would be so soon. She loves to learn and is excited to read to us every day. She has made so many friends and I often hear from other parents that Adelaide is the only kid on the bus/in class/wherever that is always inclusive and kind to their kid. I might tear up a little when I hear that, because being a good human is more important than being a smart human. We just hit the jackpot with our kids because they are BOTH!

And Breathe

Anyway, yesterday was the last day between me and summer break with my whole family at home. I am always excited for summer, but I’ve also known that it can be stressful doing it alone because, well, kids. But, Travis will be home this summer to tag team this parenting thing, and I couldn’t be happier about that!

To the other teachers, how has your year been and are you excited for the summer? To all parents, what are your plans now that school is out for the summer? Share your thoughts with us here or over on Facebook or Twitter. We’re excited that the end of the year has come and we can’t wait for some summer fun!

Kindergarten Celebration

As Meghan and I waited in our car, because we arrived early, we talked about how much our daughter has grown and matured during the past school year. Her confidence is more apparent. She’s constantly asking to read to us. And, she really seems to love school and being an active member of her class.

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