Thursday, June 30, 2011

Eighty Seventh Post - Fizzle

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?


  1. I affected in that now my wife is at home all day, which is a mixed blessing.

    Hope your shingles get better soon.

    Tossing It Out

  2. Oh that must be painful I hope you get better soon.
    The end of the school year is always looked forward to, especially if its grad year.

    School has changed a lot since when we were kids. I think they have a lot more freedom and fun while studying and this makes a world of difference.Plus being able to get info from the computer helps because books seems to disappear from the library when everyone needs the same ones.
    This way every one can read one book at the same time.
    I think its worth paying a library the 12 dollars per year to be a member and be able to read any book you want on line.

  3. First of all, congrats on surviving another year as a teacher. We need great teachers, who want to be there, who love our kids. THANK YOU!

    I LOVE the end of the school year. I love having my chilies home all summer. I hate for school to start again and yet, by the time September rolls around, I'm ready. Go figure.

  4. Having heard quite the opposite recently from someone who should never have gone into teaching, who has no empathy, no interest in his students, your post is very welcome. The kids who aren't easy to teach are so rewarding. I hope your shingles get better really soon so you can enjoy the break. Sue

  5. Sounds like you give as much as you can to the kids, staff, school and parents and I'm sure the community - and that's wonderful .. so many people are inspired by others, motivated by others and encouraged through hard times - sound like there have been a few.

    I sincerely hope the shingles improves quickly .. it's not pleasant .. have a peaceful weekend .. Hilary

  6. Lee - hmm, the opposite is happening at our place. The reverend has been home all year and now that I'm on holiday he's gone off to work...hmmmm
    Yup, Lady - school has changed in the 30+ years I've been in education.
    Melissa - Thanks. I too loved having my kids home for the holidays. A bonus of teaching was having vacation time with my children. Now I get extra time with my grandkids. Woohoo!
    Sue - sad that there are unsuitable adults in education, especially because there are so many wonderful young educators looking for work. Thankfully there are many, many wonderful teachers who love children.
    Hilary - I have been blessed in my career. I adored teaching music, had a blast teaching grade 4 - 7 and now in the twilight of my career am in the rewarding position of school counsellor.
    Thank you all for your meaningful comments.

  7. Actually not affect at all. I taught school for 4 years - 1969 to 1973. It made a big impression on me. First day of school dreams were part of my sleeping life for quite some time.

    Last day of school ... no real memories of that. Guess I didn't have the same bonding experience with the staff that you did.

  8. Retired Knitter - I know all about those first day of school dreams. Thankfully I have many weeks until they make their annual visit.

  9. Here in NZ, the school goes year-round with 6 weeks of summer holidays and 2 weeks between terms. I think it's easier or parents that work.

    Hope your shingles get better soon!