Saturday, May 18, 2013

The School Year: Endings Also Create New Beginnings

I am a romantic. I love romantic movies, and I always want a happy ending to any story. But as Diana said to Anne in the movie, Anne of Green Gables, "Life is so messed up in real life Anne. It is never as clear as it is in romantic novels."

Yesterday, being my last day with my first set of students as a first year teacher was great, but it also left me a little wanting. I hoped to end the year with a bang, but it really ended with a warm sizzle. Yes, there were hugs, sweet notes, and fun. But, did I leave them with anything concrete? Did they walk away from my class changed for the better?

That evening as I explained my feelings to my husband, he replied, "You're just too romantic about it." His statement really caught me off guard. I had never thought about it like that, but partly I think he is right. It is good to be a little practical, too. It was the last day of school. The kids were being checked out of classes right and left, which made it almost impossible to teach. Despite all that, however, my hope is that I did make a difference, that they will read this summer, and at least a few bring back their summer reading logs.

Yes, as a romantic, I am not very good with goodbye's. But, my mother gave me some great advice several years ago that applies now. When my first child moved on and grew past certain stages, I got sad and let down that the stage was over. My mother said, "Laura, that's when you look forward to the next child, and you get to relive all those wonderful experiences again." That advice was very comforting at the time.

So, now realizing that my students have moved on, I will turn my sights to my new 6th grade students coming up in August, and feel grateful that I'll have the wonderful opportunity to begin again.

Clip of Anne of Green Gables: A timeless classic that should be shared with between all mothers and daughters.

1 comment:

Beth said...

There is absolutely no doubt you made a difference in your students' lives. It would be impossible to work as hard as you did and be as enthusiastic as you were without it impacting them in a positive way. I'm sure the teacher I've talked about who was so encouraging to me never knew those two words, "You could" (make straight A's) changed me forever. With teaching, you have to trust that your best efforts pay off even if the students don't recognize it at the time. I'll speak for them: GOOD JOB!"