I am sitting here at my desk, facing an empty classroom. Blank desks, blank walls, empty bulletin boards, counters, and neatly shelved bookcases combine with the omnipresent sound of humming computers to inform me that this is the end. This is my sixth May, believe it or not, of staring at a silent room while I finish up all that teacher stuff before summer.
I've worked hard this year to be ahead, so at 8:40 on our last workday, I have my grades done, my equipment and textbook inventory turned in, everything off the walls, with only two meetings, turning in my keys, and checking out with my principal remaining.
I will be back--next Thursday to interview others for our new position in Language Arts, two weeks after that to help finally organize our storage room, and then on August 15 to start a new year. Once again, I have all English I classes, being the only teacher brave enough to face the freshmen. But that's a long way off. I have a whole summer in front of me.
I am taking two classes for professional development this summer, one at UNC on teaching with primary sources that will immerse me back in my favorite library, and one on strategies for students in poverty that will hopefully be helpful. Other than that, my summer looks to be full of knitting, reading, sorting through and cleaning out teacher stuff, fixing up the house, and hanging out.
I guess this is just a nice, long update post to make up for my longest vow of blogger silence yet, but I also write this with melancholia. Every May is a time of ending for most teachers, of saying good-bye to students you've formed relationships with. Teaching is an odd duck of professions--you remain trapped in time, while your clients move on and progress. Next year, my froshies of this year will be sophs, taller, stronger, older, and wiser. I will still be in Room 108, with the same books, posters, and desks, teaching a new round of newbies Romeo and Juliet and The Odyssey. I do have new literature to teach next year--my honors curricula is expanded to include Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm, while we'll be trying The House on Mango Street with my regular kids. It should be fun. And I'll have all summer to get ready.
Oh--I really will post pictures later. And Mr. Cool and I will be hitting some movies. Especially Indiana Jones. I can't wait.