This is where I spend most of days of my year. It is a job that gets a fresh beginning every August and a farewell in May...or in our case this year...June. Today was a farewell day, which is always exciting but a little sad, especially for a 5th grade teacher. We don't get the privilege of seeing our past kiddos on the first day of the next school year. We don't get to see them walking down the hallway throughout the year. We get to move them on to the big world of middle school. We get to see their last recess that they will ever have, their last elementary school lunch, them walking in a line to the bathroom, and a few tears at the end of the day. After they have left the building, I walk into the bare walled classroom (because they have helped me clean!) and sit in the quietness. I reflect on the past year and wonder, "What could I have done better? What changes do I need to make next year to be more effective in these kids lives?" This year my reflection became a thought of being more intentional with my relationships with the students in my classroom. You would think that this would be easy in my profession because I spend A LOT of time with these kiddos; however, it is so easy to get caught up on what I am suppose to be teaching and getting those fabulous MAP scores, that intentionality in my relationship with these precious children gets thrown out the window. I feel like this has been a year that has taught me more about intentionality and now it is time to apply it even more in my life...outside my home and adult friends.
Don't get me wrong, I loved my class and I think that overall it was a good year, especially since I missed a big chunk while on maternity leave. As I watched the 5th grade DVD today and heard the sweet things that students said about me and my class...I wouldn't have traded this year's class for ANYTHING. However, I feel that this summer should be a constant prayer of being more intentional with my students next year. To instill in them that I care about them so much and that I want to give them my best EVERY day. So this is my goal for the summer and my hope is that when August 18th comes...I am ready.
I hope all my fellow teachers and students have a wonderful summer!