Finally, the 2005/2006 school year is OVER! (And there was much rejoicing)
I'm sure that in about three weeks, I will be bored out of my skull, but for the moment, I am enjoying the fact that I will not have to wake up early to face a gym-full of screaming kids anymore, or try to get my students motivated to take seven-hour tests, or try to prevent any of my kids from attempting professional wrestling maneuvers.
Today I gave my kids a "memory book" which had a page for collecting signatures, and a couple of pages with prompts for favorite things, such as favorite book, favorite movie, etc. I enjoyed walking around and looking over their shoulders to read what they were selecting as their favorites. Whether or not they were trying to suck up to me, I did like seeing "favorite subject: math" several times. And thankfully, I did not see one instance under favorite movie of Most Xtreme Primate. One category was Favorite thing that happened this year. One of my girls wrote, "All of the things that we did, and lots of school." This is actually quite good, because I was afraid for a moment there she was going to be vague. Another of my brainchildren filled in that last category with, "Recess."
At the end of the day, as is tradition, teachers clapped and waved as the school buses pulled away, some danced, some yelled, some shot pistols into the sky (this IS Texas, after all).
Though I have certainly had my share of troublemakers and brats this year, I think I'll focus now on the really special kids. The ones I will truly miss. There were several of them this year, and they are what helped me make it through the year with (most of) my sanity intact. Normally, I would look forward to seeing these kids in the halls next year -- proud fourth-graders that I can actually treat as friends, as opposed to my charges. But our district, and more specifically our local area, is undergoing massive changes for next year. A new school is opening next year, and the busing lines have been redrawn. This reminds me of the time we studied gerrymandering in American History class. A lot of the kids who would normally go to our school are now assigned to a different school for next year. A significant number, in fact. Our school had between 1000 and 1100 students this year. According to estimates, approximately 400 of those kids will be returning next year. The other 400 or 500 enrolled will be brand new to the school, coming from other local elementary schools.
I know that I will be seeing some of my kids next year, but I also already know that several of my favorites will not be returning, and this makes me very sad. But I'm trying not to focus on that right now -- after all, I have three months of blissful emptiness lying ahead of me. Bring it on...