Institute is over. As O would say, “Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU JESUS” (with accompanying hand motions of praise, of course).
The kids are home. The classroom cleaned and reorganized. Files of student work sent off to the district. There were some hugs. There were a few tears. One student was adamant that he absolutely had to stay after school because he forgot some of the sight words we practiced on Wednesday. We told them “We won’t forget you.” We told them “We love you.” We told them “Do good next year.” We told them, “You’re smart, you can achieve”. At the very least, the students have learned in summer school that they have at least one person believing in them and cheering them on. At the most, they took away academic skills that will allow them to work hard and do well next year. They all showed growth in reading and math at the end. Hopefully at least a little bit of that sticks for the start of school in three weeks.
I love my kids, each little personality with a big heart and so many needs- love, kindness, firmness, academic instruction, and sometimes the teacher stare down. I hope that I have had a positive impact on their life, both academically and beyond. I hope they leave our class a little smarter, a little kinder, a little politer, and a little more in control of their behaviors. I hope I remember them and their quirks forever. I know these are a lot of hopes. We only had four short weeks with them, a tiny, tiny, fraction of the time they’ll spend in school over the next few years.
I am excited (and terrified) to have more than 4 weeks with a group of children. I am excited (and terrified) to have more than 5 in my classroom. Hopefully, the wonderful support system I had during institute will still be there during the year. Hopefully, there will be veteran teachers at the school willing to give advice and guidance.
There is so much to do in a few short days- pick a house, move into the house, orientation, literacy training, take a quick trip to California to see my boyfriend. Prepare for the start of my first year teaching. Figure out this life in the delta I’ve thrown myself into.
The quote that may best apply to the beginning of these next two years?
May the odds be ever in your favor.