The last week of school came and went so fast I still feel like I am reeling. The second to last week was such a fury of activity that now, with all the important things done, it seems like the end of the year has come too soon.
With the year over, are my students better off than the beginning of the year? Absolutely. But as always I am full of doubts. Should I have drilled long division into them a little more? I know that I should have spent more time on writing.
But then I have to relax, and remind myself that all of this is normal. Part of being a teacher is worrying about the final product. I don’t know why I am so hard on myself. Perhaps it’s my midwestern upbringing but I never seem satisfied with myself. At the end of the year I tend to think that a lot of my job is continual improvement, and if I ever feel that I know it all, it’s a sign that I’m not pushing myself enough.
Case in point: I spent most of the final hours before checkout running around in a panic much to the amusement of my co-workers. I had counted on all my report cards and cumulative information to print out flawlessly. Silly me. I am lucky man to work in a place where my co-workers laugh at this and chip in to help.
And now, the desks are all cleaned. My posters are off the wall; the books are all boxed up for the summer and a new yellow ukulele joins the five others collected from each class I have taught. I look forward to a week off, a camping trip and then three weeks of summer school. This summer it will be kindergarten in the morning, digital photography and hiking in the afternoon. Not a bad way to spend June.