June 7, 2013

The prism of perspective

Filed under: Teaching and Learning — Candace Hackett Shively @ 11:39 am

The Last Day of School. There is nothing like it.

For kids, it has loads of meaning. It is the start of a temporary state of euphoria, often followed by boredom 72 hours later. For non-educator adults, it is a fond but distant memory of pool parties, bad preteen pranks, and high school get-togethers punctuated by teen excess and who-is-dating-whom.

For teachers, Last Day of School means much more. We are one of few professions that enjoys a built-in day to reflect and learn from our own hard work. I would assume that builders feel somewhat the same way when they complete a house, but their houses do not build lives of their own. Last Day of School is much more, and we are blessed to have it — not for the vacation it heralds, but for the prism of perspective.

Top Ten Reasons to Be Grateful for Last Day of School

10. Summer vacation. But this ranks only #10.

9. Kids who stop by to visit before they graduate.

8. Finding a handwritten thank you note on your desk. Ignore the misspellings. It still makes you cry.

7. Realizing, as you peel off the name stickers off the cubbies, that Bubba and Boopsie (you insert the names) really did come a long way this year.

6. Entering nothing but positive comments on a report card previously filled with “needs improvement.”

5. Packing up the classroom plant that seems to already miss the extra CO2 emanating from all the mouths in the room.

4. Finding that list of ¬†“someday” ideas you started last fall and knowing you have a fresh start to use at least some of them in a couple of months.

3. Realizing that you are singing under your breath for the first time since spring madness set in.

2. Laughing and crying with your kids — at the same time.

1. Having a chance to stop and appreciate the things you and your students did that WORKED.

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