Friday, June 24, 2011

Dedicated to Lili (and her “perfect” daughter)

A Year in Review

As I have mentioned, this year has been quite trying.  In 11 years of teaching, it is tied with 03-04 as the hardest year of my career.  I’m exhausted and so glad that today was the last day of school.  As students cried and I hugged them goodbye, twinges of missing the kids hit me.  Even though a few of them drove me crazy and, at times, their behavior was quite frustrating, they all have a special place in my heart because they are all sweet kids.  There were a lot of rough spots this year, but looking back, also a lot of great times and accomplishments.

My students learned a lot by doing
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Learning about paragraph writing by making “hamburger” paragraphs with our upper grade buddies

blog 071Understanding how government officials are elected by holding actual elections (speech writing, debating, and voting)

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rocks 071 Using what we learned about geology on our rock hunt across the street from school.

blog 094Several of my students struggled so much with writing when the year began.  As the year progressed, linking writing with art was just the push these kids needed.  These kids left today with a love of writing.

Once state testing wrapped up, teaching the test format was replaced with some fun activities which, although weren’t tested, were beneficial nonetheless. 

“Jack and the Beanstalk” musical theatre.
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Field Day Games
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And at a school where the families are not terribly involved, the best part of the last day of school was the handwritten notes and gifts I received from some appreciative parents and kids.  Even if I didn’t feel like I was very effective this year, at least someone did.
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“More tests”?  Testing has really become too  much when the kids start thanking you for teaching more tests.

After a fairly successful school year, it is finally over.  Vacation starts riiiiiiiiigggggghhhhhtttttt NOW!


  1. You made it!
    I felt such relief too...hard to appreciate everything when in the midst of a tough year...thanks for sharing the photos and letters :)

    But most of all HAPPY SUMMER!!

  2. @Marey - Thanks so much! Thrilled to death! The relief was shared by all at our EOY staff party - a lot of celebrating and fun had by all!

  3. You've got a Brandon and a Shawn/Seán. I don't know why I'm so shocked.
    Anyhoooooos, what's next.

  4. I hope you have an awesome one! : ) I also hope next year is perfectly pleasant for you.

  5. @Vince - yes, the Latino families at our school have 2 categories of name giving...the traditional Latino names like Jose, Maria, and Luis and the trying to assimilate into their new culture names like Brandon, Ashley, and Aidan. Shawn happened to be one of two Caucasians in my room this year.
    Sleeping in past 5:30 is at the top of my summer list. Beyond that? Only time will tell, but the break will be thoroughly enjoyed.

  6. @Becky-I know it will be. I will be working on curriculum for my school district all of next week and a few days after that. Once that's over...woot woot!

  7. I always say I wish more parents would take the time to say thank you...lord knows we aren't getting gifts, but a nice thank you would mean so much! Happy vacation to you!!!!!

  8. Those are memories that make it all worthwhile.

  9. @JLo - I know. It's funny the two parent cards were for two of my most challenging kids, so that was nice.

    @GJ - Yes, some good ones found in this year somewhere. :)

  10. And you survived! Congrats on that! m.

  11. You deserve it! All teachers do! I'm glad you get a summer break. :L

  12. I agree with your points , wonderful post.
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