Staring at this blank screen, I am overwhelmed with emotion as I nostalgically search for a topic to focus on during my last blog article of the 2012-2013 school year. It was not a school year I especially want to remember, filled with insurmountable teaching obstacles and personal heartbreak. It was a school year which kept me alive personally and almost killed me professionally at the same time. But it’s all about the children, and I don’t want to forget those special little people who were placed in my life for a reason.
As I was reading to my first graders in our class meeting the other day, I stared out at those little faces and thought back when I first started teaching fifteen years ago. Those students are graduating from college this year! How time truly does fly by. Yet, this challenging school year will be forgotten as soon as I sharpen pencils in August for my new students. One question I always ask myself, do the students remember me and our experiences? What memory is already embedded in their ever-expanding minds?
Here are some of their answers as I conducted an informal survey:
- fun adventures with the classroom turtle
- going to the zoo on a field trip
- having a hen visit the classroom for the day
- playing with Legos and blocks
- reading fun picture and chapter books together
- skyping with a real park ranger
- Pirate Day……. arrr!!!
Funny, there was no mention of studying for our district-wide benchmark assessments (which took several weeks throughout the school year). This reminded me of how we should prepare our students for success.
Let me teach you the song of my people- our children, our future, victims of the Great American War in Education. Let it guide your vision for the next school year:
Live each day to the fullest with hands-on experiences and materials.
Laugh with creative attempts to solve real-world problems.
Love each other for our differences, enduring heartache with empathy.
Peace out, 2012-2013.