Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Good Life

I don't say this often, but I have a pretty perfect 6th period.

Okay, I've only said this once.  My 6th periods are usually pretty hyper - and understandably so.  In the past, a regimen of calming and wrangling was essential for all of my 6th period classes.

This year it just never happened.  I've never even had to raise my voice.

The "natives" always get restless and even a tad bit whiny after the CRCT, so I usually have to work to get them to calm down and work like they did before.  The last two weeks of school, as a general rule, are almost impossible to keep students on task.  All of my kids are pretty good, but they're getting tired and ready for summer.

Wednesday, I gave 6th period their assignment, which was to write a letter to their local legislator about an issue that concerned them.  I put on music, and they began working like it was the third day of school. 

I looked around the room.  My precious student who waves at me every single time he sees me turned around, smiled and waved.  Their hands were writing furiously - they were full of great ideas and were writing great and meaningful letters.  I walked around, helped a couple of kids, and basically just stood back.  It was one of the last days of school, it was sixth period, and my students were being downright amazing.

One Republic's "Good Life" came on my Pandora I play for the kids.  It is just a fantastic song (I didn't realize there is profanity in the lyrics - Pandora played the clean version).

But as the song came on, I just had to look at those sweet kids and think about how blessed I am to work this job.  How many of us get to go to work happy?  Thankful?

Tears filled my eyes a little.

I'm going to miss these kids so much. I thought.  

And I am.  I'm always ready for summer, but the end of the year is always bittersweet.

I'm going to miss that sweet wave that comes to me every day.  I'm going to miss my girls who say, "do you need help with that?  I will help you."  I'm going to miss the girl who notices my water cup is empty and asks to run and refill it.  I'm going to miss my quirky boys full of personality and life - they've kept me laughing all year.

I love all of my students, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that some students are just special, and that some just win my heart.

And that's my 6th period.  They've won my heart.

The good life?

Yes, the good life indeed. 

Where I've Been

Well, Christmas came around...

Then Jeremy's birthday...

Then my birthday...

 Then Spring Break...

Now it's May.  One day before my sister's wedding.

And I've barely stopped to draw breath.

Things got busy.  Incredibly fast.

Ever since Christmas I've been pretty swamped.  There's the normal teacher business, with grading papers and the like. Spring is a busy time for teachers with CRCT prep, but it has been pretty much as busy as it has always been.

I just finished obtaining my Gifted Endorsement, which was a time suck of epic proportions.  Pretty much any kind of creative energy I had was exhausted on writing papers for this gifted class.  Since my last blog, I've written four papers (a couple that were around fifteen pages), did ten lesson plans, planned a pretty extensive unit that was differentiated for three levels of learners, and read and researched for my papers.  When I'm writing other papers it is difficult for my brain to concentrate on other forms of writing that enjoy, like vignette writing or blogging for fun.  Amelia tripped over our computer charger and left us without our personal laptop, so that's also left me without an outlet to write (I only use my school laptop for personal business, yo).  I've missed words of my choosing.

Soccer season started in late January this year, which basically made me a single parent for a couple of months.  I don't mind the time with just me and Amelia, but I had to arrange my schedule and grade papers at night when she goes to sleep, or work on projects during nap times.

Amelia has had three stomach viruses this school year, and two since January.  It was gut-wrenchingly awful.  One of those viruses landed us in the Emergency Room with fear of Appendicitis.  I've missed more days of school this year than I've missed since maternity leave.  Not. Fun.

Then, of course, there's the big wedding that's happening in one day, and that's kept me busy, too.  I've planned showers, cleaned my house lots of times (it needs some major work this summer), and had lots of fun getting ready for my sister's wedding.

My calendar looked insane for March, April, and May.  I've never had to be one of those people who penciled in time for others, but for the past few months I found myself looking at my calendar to see when I could schedule time. 

I need summer this year!

As the end of the school year is winding down along with other events, I can only look back on the busyness and be thankful for it (well, not the stomach virus part). There have definitely been some fun and wonderful things happen these past few months.  I've had fun celebrating my sister and other friends celebrating milestones.  I know that this Gifted Endorsement will eventually pay off (although it's pretty much shown me that won't be able to handle a Specialist degree load for a long, long time). 

I'm thankful for Amelia's growth - she (for the most part) has crossed the hurdle into being fully potty trained and has shown improvements.  She can write her name (it's pretty messy, but she can do it), and she's drawing lots of cute pictures instead of scribbling.  She's saying all kinds of crazy and funny things.  She also talks to herself quite often, a trait she inherited, unfortunately, from me.  I'm hoping this summer will be a lot of fun with my little family.