Monday, June 20, 2011

finding the end

It's hard to believe that we only have one more day of school and then this year is over. Between focusing on getting ready for my new role next year, trying to wrap my head around being gone for maternity leave, and just finishing up paper work from this year I haven't actually sat down to process that this year is over. My year of Pixie, PJ, and Magical has ran its course. I have to say goodbye.

It's almost hard to remember that this fall was a part of this year. As much as we loved PJ our school wasn't the best place for him, and it was a long 9 weeks of keeping him safe. We lived on such a different schedule then- everyday we came in on edge ready to react to anything that could come while trying to be as proactive as we could. Then he left and our classroom suddenly felt empty. We still see him in the hallways because he comes to our school for after-school care, and we love getting hugs from him and seeing his bright smile. He's doing really well at his new school.

A few weeks after PJ left we found out Magical was sick. I remember slowly crumpling onto the floor as I talked to his mother on the phone when she first gave us the news- I just could not understand how such a little person could be so, so sick. We walked around in a daze for the next few days feeling powerless and small. In our classroom we get to be the queens, but outside in the world it is scary to realize how little control we had. Lots of hospital visits calmed us down and let us know that Magical was going to be OK, although he had a long road ahead of him. In February, once he was home from the hospital we became his home-bound teachers and Mrs. Partner-in-Crime and I took turns going to his house everyday after school to read, write, draw pictures, and cram whatever part of the kindergarten curriculum we could into the hour he had the stamina for. Magical's doing well now and we're excited for him to join us again in the Fall.

Pixie of course remained a steady part of the year- everyday with her made us laugh. Even today, when she arrived in a candy-corn style salsa dress and desperately tried to jump in the rain puddles during the fire drill we couldn't help but absolutely love her. At one point we tried to retain her, but eventually realized that she would be fine in first grade, we really just wanted to keep her for ourselves.

The other children have been amazing and memorable as well. My kindergarten boyfriend who flirted with me until he found out I was pregnant and he ditched me to flirt with the unborn baby. My amazing morning group that became a tight friendship circle and brought out the best in one another. My readers who begged me for new books anytime they saw me, even if it was on the playground.  It's been such an incredible year.

Tomorrow I'll say goodbye to my kinders but also to the graduating 5th graders as well.  The last class of first graders I taught as a classroom teacher are moving on. It's hard to believe that after next year there will not be any students at our school that remember me as their main teacher. Watching them become fifth graders has been empowering as well.  They were actually my class when I first started this blog back in May 2007. They were an amazing class- there was never a dull moment. That was the year I was "poisoned" by hand sanitizer by a student, had a student bring in a raw egg and break it on the table during math workshop, I got married, a child threw chairs at me numerous times, and of course when I fell in love with my smart cookie. Ironically looking back at my blog posts from then apparently when I was engaged they all assumed I was also pregnant, so to throw a little mental math at them I told them I would be pregnant when I was 30 and asked them how many years they would have to wait before I had a baby. Apparently I kept to that promise.  I just can't believe it has been 4 years since they left my classroom as small, budding readers. Now they walk confidently around our school was rock-star fifth graders.

Don't get me wrong- I'm ready for summer. I'm ready for relaxing by the pool and sleeping in (it may be my last chance to sleep in for a long, long time) but I'm going to miss this year. I had great kids, great co-workers,  and a supportive administration. What more could a girl ask for?

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