The clock says 3:12 am. I stopped sleeping somewhere around 2:00. I need to be up in just over two hours but the sleep evades me even though I am exhausted. Today is the final day of this school year with the kids. It is the day I have wished for. Yet, it is with mixed emotions that I face the sunrise.
There is no doubt that this has been my most challenging year to date in terms of testing my resolve to be in this field. As I packed my students up yesterday and sent them home with their prize work of the year, I noted that this is not a group of forth graders. Yes there are a few shining stars, ready to take on the next chapter. Rather I am awake at 3:12 haunted by the majority who aren't yet ready. Those who still cannot complete an assignment, write a coherent paragraph or identify a trapezoid. There are those who still blurt, who fall out of chairs and who pop up out of their seats with every thought that enters their head. They are unaware of anyone else in the room. These are the kids whom I feel view school and me as something to tune in and out at will. I worry for them. I worry that I did not do enough, that they will fall further behind and get lost in the shuffle. I want to know that they will be ok, they will catch up and they will thrive. I hope that it is just 9 year old boys, not yet mature enough to take school seriously and opt for fun instead and that one day soon they will come into their own and be the shining lights that I'm used to seeing this time of year. I hope for them to be all they can be and I fear that I did not aid them in that venture.
This is also my last day on a team I love. After tomorrow I will no longer be in the hall of women I've grown to love, trust and rely on during those darkest of days and brilliant moments. I'm thrilled to try something new next year, but it isn't without a sense of loss and wonder if it will be as good as what I have now. Because kids and classes come and go, they can touch or break your heart, but they always move on. It's the work of the brilliant teachers around you who get you through the tough weeks and celebrate the moments of genius. I have spent the past three years with them day in and day out and I will miss them all dearly.
Perhaps these are the thoughts that my subconscious brain is really battling with that is keeping me awake this night. It's not my giddy excitement of a summer taunting me, but rather the close of a chapter and the potential of the unknown. I'm sure come the light of day things will seem more clear. My students will move on into most capable hands who can surely reach the ones I did not. My classroom space will be occupied by another and I will set up in my own new space. Maybe it too will eventually feel like home.
Regardless, I salute you my dear, dear friends. It has been an honor to be in Hall A. While I move along to Hall B now, I will always and forever be an A Hall at heart.