I can always count on opening my laptop to slow my productivity to a crawl. With three days left in the school year, there is the frenzy of finishing all the end of the year stuff, cleaning my room, and trying to channel my student’s energy in the right direction. I awoke early this morning, very early, because a) I set my alarm and it was ringing, and b) Ivy was barking about something. I let her out, started the coffee, and went outside to wait for her to finish the yard inspection and the coffee to brew. She came back to the deck satisfied the yard was safe, at least until daylight and we both went inside. I grabbed a cup of coffee and together we went to the basement; I went to wrap up grading a final set of papers and focus on Wednesday and Thursday and Ivy lay down beneath the desk and went to sleep. I think she got the better part of the deal.
Yesterday, I gave the kids their last writing assignment – a letter to their eighth grade teacher. From the groans, you would have thought I was asking the impossible and I guess to a seventh grader it is. I enjoy reading the letters and keep them on file. Sometimes, I go back in time and read them. Some are good, some are funny, and some are not so good. But, I have them and it is always helpful to look back at where I’ve been, because it helps me with the ‘where I’m going part.’ Today is the talent show – a seventh grade school tradition and an opportunity to focus on where we are going – we meaning the seventh grade. Teaching kids is more than about reading and writing; it is about helping them learn to grow as learners and people.
I had graded as far as I could and I needed rubrics to finish, so I went to my laptop to find the digital copy, print a few copies, and then get back to assessing their writing. Yet I got distracted or rather, I let myself get distracted. It doesn’t take much, but I got off course and I promised myself that I’ll finish the essays later this morning; there are only seven of them. So, I’ll finish later and write, instead.
I have been working on my summer to do list and I have a few to dos including reading, organizing my workspace, and getting in shape for the rest of my life. At the same time, I’ve been asking my students what they’ll do with their summer vacation – all eighty-three days of it. I share my reading list – a couple of titles, my goal of swimming the mile again, and enjoying time with family. With three days, the student’s focus is only on no school and they can’t see beyond sleeping in and being with their friends. At that age, I couldn’t see beyond the immediate, either. It wasn’t until much later that I ‘got’ school and began to really learn. I see it in my own kids and I’m glad we have summer to rest, relax, and restore for the coming year.
It is Wednesday and there are three days remaining, when I get to school the day count drops to two. Two more ‘wakeups and have to be somewhere’ until August. Today is going to be a great day, I’m certain, and tomorrow will likely be a million and six times better. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, even when it is easier to count the days than it is to make them count.
What do you remember about the last few days of school?