Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Last Day

Many of us, both teachers and students, had the jitters when it came to Move-Up Day. There's always a bit of anxiousness involved in new starts. Yet thanks to a highly organized administrative team, a good collegial group, thoughtful parents, and eager students the Move-Up events went well. I had the chance to see all the new fifth graders and meet my homeroom students. Each child told me about a significant learning event in their life with enthusiasm. I know we'll have a good year next year.

After that I met with this year's homeroom to share a good song, pictures of the year's highlights and memories. The children displayed a range of emotion. I don't know why, but I expected everyone to be happy, but of course, it's the end of the year, and just like beginnings, people face endings with a range of emotions too. I should have anticipated that. I kept it positive, but felt my own range of emotions afterwards. In talking with colleagues, it became clear that these emotions are natural particularly this year when we all faced the limitations presented by a pandemic. We worked extra hard to revise the program, keep it strong, and work closely with all stakeholders to nurture the children. We can be proud of this. Yet, nevertheless, we all experienced some loss this spring--loss of plans we looked forward to, loss of traditions, and for some, loss of family members and friends too.

Later in the day, I received a few thank you notes that I truly appreciated. End-of-school-years are emotional events even in the most predictable years. A few years ago, I described it like this:
Tomorrow with good words, time for questions and share, a wonderful slideshow of the children's experiences at elementary school crafted by a parent, and a celebratory virtual clap-out we'll say our end-of-the-year good byes and welcome summer vacation. I'll likely take a week or so to simply relax and then begin a new chapter. Onward.