The 2010/2011 school year is coming to an end today and I am at home nursing my outbreak of shingles. Oh brother, what a way to end the year, much more fizzle than bang. It saddens me not to be at work to say proper goodbyes for the summer. We've put in a great collective effort and have walked through some great times, good times, and some almost unbearably sad times.
This year we had too many deaths; student, parents, grandparents. The grief felt overwhelming at times - for all of us. Yet, we worked together; we listened, we cried, we grieved... At the other end of the spectrum there was laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. Laughter so loud we had to shut the staff room doors. And even then, students commented on the laughing coming out of the staff room. We also laughed with our students. We have some hilariously funny and clever adolescents at our school.
The vast majority of our students didn't give up. They came with challenges, both academic and personal. Due to confidentiality I will not give details other than the knowing that many adults would have, indeed have, given up under less trying circumstances. Many seemed almost paralyzed with anxiety when year end exams came into view. To their credit they didn't fold up and quit. They worked hard; the students and their amazingly dedicated teachers. During the week of exams there was a quiet contingent of teachers cheering on their students with no less pride than a group of proud, possessive parents.
The end of the year always brings mixed feelings. Of course we're all glad we made it and summer vacation is about to begin. There is also the sadness that accompanies loss. Students and staff alike leave. Those of us left behind will miss them. Many have impacted my life.
Instead of celebrating the leaving with my staff, I'm home nursing these darn shingles! So from my couch I send you a good bye and have a good summer. Have fun, rest, cause who knows what the next school year will bring.
How are you affected by the end of a school year?