The year is almost over.
No, not THAT year.
The school year.
The end of the school year is always a mixed bag. On one hand, the school year officially ends. As an 8th grade teacher, it means I get to see my students move on to high school, hopefully better prepared thanks to everything our team has done this year. I can take a deep breath and relax.
This same point is also when I ask “What else could I have done?” and try to figure out how I can incorporate the answer next year. Every teacher I have worked with looks to improve their lessons each year. Some ideas get thrown out or at least put on the back burner in case they can be improved later.
It is an opportunity for reflection beyond lessons. Did I provide the right opportunities for students to grow? Did I manage my classroom to the best of my abilities? What ideas can I implement for next year?
At the same time, I get a break from the struggles. A break from those kids who like to push buttons. A break from worrying if my students have learned enough to pass a single test.
Obviously, it is a mentally and emotionally confusing time. I still have three weeks left. One more week of state testing followed by two regular weeks. We have a big, end-of-the-year trip planned in two weeks, followed by eighth grade graduation during the last week of school. Memorial Day weekend helps mark the end of the year for me.
And I start right back up again the following week. This year, I will be teaching summer school. Four weeks, split into two sessions lasting two weeks each. I’m not too down about this one as I get to teach rocketry. We will not be using anything like Estes rockets, but it should still be fun.
It may be a confusing point in the year, but it is also a good one.