#SOL17 June From A to Z

As I turn the calendar to June, my heart mixes with different emotions. Bittersweet to say goodbye to the year where my son started kindergarten and my daughter grew so much in her 3 year old program. Conflicted feelings about what I accomplished as a teacher and what I failed to do as well. Deadlines loom for all the paperwork that must get done to close out the year. Everything seems to stop for others who can cancel their classes or close their room to box things up while classroom teachers keep on going with students to the very end. Fair? Give up thinking about that, I tell myself- it does not good to get angry about how much is asked of a classroom teacher. Help other teachers who are changing grade levels and have a huge task of moving all their belongings and learning so many new things. I want to make the last month of school memorable and happy for my students. "Just keep swimming" Dory says, and that's good advice for a month like June where you can start to feel like you are drowning. Keep in mind that the warm weather and promise of carefree days makes teaching quite a challenge when students feel ready for summer. Lose them, you will, if you don't shake it up and change the routine a little. Make sure you get them excited about all the ways they can keep learning over the summer. Never make reading seem like a chore or a punishment, or something you do just to win a raffle. Offer your own experiences and plans to read and learn as examples of what life-long learners do in the summer. Parents need to be educated on the summer slide and how damaging it is when students totally give up the reading habit in the summer. Quickly find some information to send home to them regarding this. Remind them that the library is a fabulous resource in the summer and should be utilized often. Send kids home with new books to read, which they can get at a school book swap. Take down old bulletin boards that you've kept up for a few years- time to give the classroom a fresh look in September. Understand that the last few weeks of school require more time spent there and less time at home. Very soon, there will be longer days at home with your family. Wishing away all the work won't make it happen. X-rays won't show how much your heart has grown, and broken, and pieced itself back together after a year of teaching and learning with children. You have done the very best you can, but you know it still wasn't enough. Zip your bag, lock your classroom door and say goodbye to another year, knowing you will open the door once again with excitement and hope come late August. 


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