Friday, June 3, 2016

Year 6: Week 37 – Counting Down?

No, I’m not counting down the days. Other teachers do this; I just plan carefully and try to make the most out of the time that I have left. It’s important to end the year well and not mail it in. I refuse to lower my standards for my students’ behavior just because it’s the end of the school year. Granted, it’s important that I do activities that reflect their mindset so that I can set them up for success, but that doesn’t change the basic expectations. Interrupting the teacher is still rude and yes, you really do need to stop pocking that person who is sitting next to you.

This week has been on the borderline of overwhelming. I’m working with the 6th graders on their drama production, which has pulled me away from my other classes. Also, there’s hiring processes that I’m involved in, new projects that seems to be popping up and a laundry list of administrative things that I need to get done before the end of the year. I also have to work on grades.

Yes, it’s a lot but all of this is balanced by the energy I get from kids. Seeing projects coming together, reading my students’ reflections is very gratifying. The end of the year does make kids a little crazy, but this energy can be harnessed and brought together to have some very cool experiences.

My 5th graders are learning how to write and perform their own raps. The 3rd grade is preparing to present “Puff, The Magic Dragon” at the end of the school year assembly. The 6th grade as I mentioned earlier has a dramatic production with a musical element and the 8th graders end with a tribute presentation that ends with a musical performance.

Yes, it’s takes a lot of patience to make all of this stuff come together, especially when my 3rd graders can’t stop vibrating (literally) and my 8th graders check out. But it’s worth it and with a sense of humor and an understanding of how challenging this time of year is also for the students, we move through this time with a level of grace (I hope).

Part of me just doesn’t want this year to end. Even with the challenges, there is a comfort to the groups of kids I have and where they are at in their development. One of the great things about being a teacher is that you watch different groups of kids group up, but that’s also the hard thing because at some point you have to let them go, whether you want to or not.

One more week. Let’s see what this week has in store for me. There are couple more memories to create, and a lot of things to get off my to do list. It’ll be crazy, and stressful, but it’ll also be fun. When it’s all over, there will be summer break full of new adventures.

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