Joking aside, I think, I'm simultaneously incredibly relieved that this school year is over and heartbroken to see my students go. I really bonded with my group this year, maybe even as much as I did last year's group, which I didn't think was possible. It's funny; rereading the post I did like this year, I find myself feeling almost exactly the same way. I had a million good reasons to quit or at least to transfer, yet here, at the end of the year, I find myself resolved to come back even better in the fall.
It wasn't even an easy end to the year. A student of whom I became very fond, who I will not even identify by his pseudonym in relation to this incident, did something very foolish near the end that got him into quite a bit of trouble. Several teachers at my school have been excessed, all of whom are fine teachers, ones you would like to teach your own children. And a few people--some I know in real life, others I know only through their blogs--have decided to lay down the chalk, so to speak, for good as of today.
So why am I going back? Forget for the moment that it's a paycheck and a group insurance plan; as a reasonably competent youngish lady, I could surely dig that up elsewhere if I tried hard enough. No, let's look at the fact that, for better or worse, kids are counting on me in September, and that, frankly, I like that. I like knowing that I, personally, matter. I like knowing that there will be at least some kids in that room who care about learning something from me. And I like knowing that I can make an impression on at least some of them. I hate to cast my lot with the "relationship" educators wholesale, but, well, relationships do at least kinda matter. And good ones with children make a big difference--not just for them, but for us, the teachers, as well. Without them, our job is, well, just a paycheck and a group insurance plan.
In the fall, then, I look forward to hanging up my snapshots of the class of 2010 and welcoming with open arms the class of 2011. As the Girl Scout song says, "Make new friends but keep the old/One is silver and the other's gold."
By the way: I'm dropping back to one day a week here (Wednesday, obvs) for the summer, only to satisfy my own urges for sleeping late, hanging out at the beach, and home shopping. I wish I had a better reason, but I don't, and NYC Educator was nice enough to let me take it easy for the summer months and come back full throttle in the fall. And if you have any suggestions for a series of posts like my "What No One Will Tell You..." series from last summer, I'm all ears.