I had every intention of writing up this really cool, powerful, funny end-of-year post. But guess what? MY BRAIN DON’T WORK.
So instead, I’m going to leave you with a list of thoughts. Some are reflective thoughts about the end of the year; some are random bits of information from the most unvisited corners of my mind. I apologize in advance.
1) People who do ANYTHING and teach at the same time are gods. Holy cow. These past few weeks, between teaching and grad school, I have been just barely able to keep my head above water, and grad school's not even a 24-hour gig. How do some of you teach AND parent? Or teach AND coach AND parent? Or teach AND coach AND parent AND do grad school?
You must be aliens. Or robots.
It’s the only logical conclusion I can form.
2) One of the best feelings in the world is that last round of buying groceries for school breakfast/lunches. Ahhhhh. Goodbye, magma-temperature Lean Pockets; hello sourdough toast topped with avocado and an over-hard egg, all on a real plate, and with coffee in a pretty teacup that I shall sip daintily instead of sloshing down my gullet on my way to work.
3) If you have a job where you don’t have a summer off, just know that I wish you did. I think you deserve a summer off, too. I’m running for president in 2016 on that platform alone. Vote for me.
4) I am taking a little, tiny, mini hiatus from blogging/updating the next six weeks. First I’ll be on vacation, then I’ll be at another residency for grad school, and then I’ll be sleeping all day. After that, let’s say July 12th, I’ll be back, rested, and ready to write up more stories about me accidentally projecting my own cleavage onto the board!
5) If you haven't finished up the year yet, you should make a First Day of School Video. I’m moving up with my students next year (WOOOOO!), but if I wasn’t, I would be working on interviewing my students for a First Day of School video I would show in September for my next batch of students. I would ask my current students questions like:
- What advice would you give to next year’s students?
- What are some things I love to see in the classroom?
- What are some things I can't stand?
- What was the hardest part about my class this year?
- What was the most fun thing we did this year?
- What was the craziest thing you remember happening?
And I would show the video on the first day of school and my new kids would say, “Wow, those guys and girls in that video have a great relationship with their teacher. I want that! I’ll think I’ll just start out the year doing exactly what she says, because that’s way easier than testing her boundaries until Thanksgiving.”
Hahahaha. No. They won’t do that. They will push your buttons like you’re an Xbox controller. But it would still be a fun video to show. A much better alternative to the standard paper syllabus, amiright?
6) Next year, I’ve decided to not fight the pencil battle anymore! That's right. I'm going to give a pencil to any kid who needs it. No collateral (which is what I do now), no asking why they made it all the way to last period without a pencil. Read this article by Chad Donohue; it’s what changed my mind. When I first read it I was like, “But that’s enabling! I want to teach my students responsibility!” But really, there are plenty of other ways for me to teach my students responsibility, and I don’t think this one small gesture will mean I’m enabling them. Plus, the pencil issue drives me CRAZY, and I think it would drive me a lot less crazy than just having them available.
Also, do any of you have like $175 I can borrow? I want only Ticonderoga. And a really amazing pencil sharpener.
7) You should read these books! I am not planning on reading any books this summer, as I will already have a MOUNTAIN of them for grad school. But here are some awesome kid/YA books I’ve read this year for school/myself that you should put on your summer reading list! RIGHT NOW!
-The One and Only Ivan by K.A. Applegate- So sweet and beautifully written. I read it and then spent about four hours looking up information on gorillas.
-Wonder by R.J. Palacio- I could not recommend any children’s book higher. Seriously.
-The Julian Chapter by R.J. Palacio (companion book to Wonder)- After you read Wonder, you’ll DEFINITELY want to read this. It’s only on ebook though, so get yourself one of those newfangled contraptions (or borrow or steal one).
-Paper Towns by John Green- And also The Fault in Our Stars if you haven’t read it!
-The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- Just pinky promise you’ll read it this summer?
8) THIS TIME TWO WEEKS FROM NOW I WILL BE IN LONDON!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited for tea, Antony and Cleopatra (at the Globe!), the English countryside, and to spend almost all the money I’ve made this year!
Also, there is a small chance they might not let me in the country because of an internship I was offered five years ago by a certain British publishing company that failed to provide me with proper paperwork. In that case, I will come back from my hiatus with a lovely story for you about how deeply I enjoyed the detainment center at Heathrow.
9) Something exciting is coming this summer!!! But I’m not telling you what it is. Even if you pay me $50. (But maybe if you pay me $50 million.)
10) Thank you. Four years ago, I started this blog as a way to keep my mom and my friends up-to-date on the goings-on in my life as a teacher. I had no idea it would connect me with so many teacherfriends (and non-teacherfriends!), or that writing and hearing from you guys would make me feel so much less freakish and alone. Those Sunday night panic attacks my first year of teaching seem like such a distant memory. So thank you for reading and sharing your stories/selves with me. I think this quote from singer-songwriter Alanis Morisette does a good job of expressing my gratitude:
“Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you.”
–Alanis Morisette, from her hit song, “Thank You”
Oh, and I think you’re beautiful.
See you July 12th J
All my love,