Chores and the first day

The back of the last bus - end of the year for 2010-11!

It is the very first day of summer vacation and I am resisting the urge to sleep in. Seriously, I know I can find better uses of the time than sleeping, though I will get to bed early tonight than I did last night. Yesterday was Tuesday, which is always a hectic night with sports and scouts and we often get to bed after ten. I am on the deck and I am a crossroads: Ivy wants to play and I want to write. It is the coolest part of the day and it is going to be another hot one. Yesterday the heat and humidity really through us all and Ivy spent most of the afternoon sleeping on the floor, where it was cool.

Ivy gnaws a stick to pass the time.

Yesterday was the last day of school and I spent most of the morning signing yearbooks and thinking of the tasks I needed to complete before I left for summer vacation. It went well and at the appointed time, there was the countdown to the bell and the kids burst out the door, got on the buses, and left for summer vacation. The teachers stood on the sidewalk, watching the buses leave and then we all went inside to finish packing and cleaning our classrooms, complete a few administrative tasks, and preparing for our break. I took a few pictures of the buses pulling out and quipped, this is my seventh grade memory.

However, I have more memories than the buses pulling out for the final time. I was honored to have a few students in my class this year, which made a difference in my life. I became a teacher because I wanted to share my love of learning and I wanted to make a difference in the life of at least one kid, each year. Little did I know that it is a mutual process and each year my life would be changed and molded as well. I got a card with a thoughtful note and I got a book entitled Lies My You Learned at School from a very special student and inside was a nice note on the end papers. It included a gift card to a bookstore where I will stock up on summer reading material. It was the only gift I received but it was the one, which mattered most. Over the course of the year, I had spoken often with his mom over the phone, at conferences, and the occasional encounter in the front office or in the hallway at the end of the day. Gradually, we had developed a relationship that makes a difference in the student, and both the teacher and the parents. I will miss seeing him in my classroom and I hope he keeps in touch. I know I will try. I have had several students like him pass through the classroom and occasionally I get a note, an e-mail, or a classroom visit from a former student. It is amazing what they remember and what was important to them, not a lesson but the other the other parts of education which leaves its impression on the student.

Nevertheless, today is the first day of summer vacation and I have a million things to do, or so it seems. I have a bit of gardening to do before it gets really hot and then I have inside chores for the rest of the day. It is going to be a productive day and it is going to count as several days, because I have a lot of makeup work to do. Making the Days Count, one day at a time.

The last bus pulls out and heads home!
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