The end of the school year is upon us. Everybody in the field of education...students, teachers, administrators, counselors, secretaries, custodians...begins to count down the days somewhere around the five-weeks-to-go mark. Weeks 5, 4, and 3 seem to ddddrrrraaaagggg on forever, but then you wake up one Sunday morning and realize that there are only nine school days left, and of those nine, two are exam days. That leaves only seven instructional days. Don't forget Senior Honors Day when the class of 2010 will have the honors program and then be dismissed for the rest of the day. Man, that leaves only six days! Then we begin to wonder how we're going to finish everything in only six or seven days. I still have to do this and this and that, and oh yeah, there is that, too. YIKES!
But as I wonder about the last six days, I think back to the previous 174. I think of all of the students I've had the pleasure to teach and to learn from. I wonder what their futures hold for them. I pray for them daily...prayers for their happiness and success. I worry about them. Will they make the right decisions as they go through life? Will they do all they can to grow into the adults I know they are capable of becoming? I hope for them. I love them. All of them. Even the ones who have tried my patience. Daily.
This is the end of my fourth year in a general ed. classroom. The first year I taught English in the gen ed classroom, I had one English 9 class, in addition to the English 12 classes; the second year, I had one English 10 class first semester and one English 11 class second semester along with the English 12; last year I had English 11 and English 12. So over the last four years, I've had several of this year's seniors in one of those other classes. That has helped me get to know so many of the senior class, even if I didn't teach them this year. And there are a few I've known since they were lowly 8th graders. It has been so much fun to watch those I've known for the last four or five years grow into the young adults they are. Some of them continue to make me shake my head. LOL
As the last few days speed by (because they will at this point), I watch them become anxious for the next stage of their lives to begin. I tell them to SLOW DOWN and enjoy this time, but they don't listen. (For the record, neither did I at 18.) I try to impart a few words of last-minute wisdom, and I hope that something I have said or done over the last year will remain with them.
If I were to offer advice to them, this is what I would say: To the seniors of 2010, I wish you a long life filled with love, joy, happiness, success. Make sure you work hard, but don't forget to take time to play. If you love and laugh, life will take care of itself. And remember I love you.
As always, have a GREAT day!