Celebrating the End of the School Year

Cue the fireworks and sound the trumpets! Another school year is almost in the history books. June 2, 2011 will mark the conclusion of my fourth year as a teacher. For students and teachers alike, the last day of school is a cause for great celebration. We made it!

To celebrate the end of the 2010-2011 school year, I will reward myself with a fancy dinner and a tall glass of wine. I might even cheat on my diet and share dessert with my husband. My fourth year of teaching has been filled with negative and positive moments. Despite the difficulties, I truly believe I have a wonderfully rewarding career. I can honestly say I love my job. However, I’m definitely ready for three months of summer bliss.

Unfortunately, my husband and dog rarely receive the attention they deserve during the school year. Summer break means laundry baskets will no longer overflow, my poodle will get walked everyday, and my husband will be lucky enough to have a few home-cooked meals. On June 2, our house will become much less hectic. During the school year, our home is frequently overrun by lesson plans, school materials, and paperwork. Summer vacation also allows me to take care of errands otherwise ignored. A pile of clothes has been waiting to be dropped off at dry cleaning for months. A box for the Salvation Army has been sitting in my kitchen since December. My house will soon be re-organized and clean as I switch from teacher-mode to housewife-mode.

In past years, I’ve packed my summer breaks with a million things to do. Two years ago I spent most of the summer buried in research related to my master’s thesis. Last summer I was feverishly planning my wedding (my husband and I were married just 6 months after our engagement). This summer my goal is to relax. With the exception of teaching an Extended School Year Program and training for a half-marathon in September, I have nothing else to do. Traveling and lounging by the pool are the only events on my calendar. I’m excited to spend quality time with my husband, dog, family, and friends.

The nine months teachers and students spend in the classroom is intense. New mandates and benchmarks require increased instruction and testing in the same small period of time. Each school day is packed with information and activities to enhance student learning. Educators and students agree the school year can be daunting and exhausting. Summer break is a chance to recover from the rigorous schedule and prepare for the next school year. Like all teachers, I will spend time reflecting on this past school year. I’ll pinpoint areas I need to improve in my content and classroom management. I’ll also work on new lessons for next school year and begin to gather supplies. Teaching is always in my heart and on my mind; even during summer break.

Congratulations and best wishes to the graduating class of 2011! Happy summer break to teachers, students, and parents!