At 11:30 a.m. last Friday, June 1st, I officially ended my first year as a high school teacher. We still have meetings and things this coming week – not to mention commencement, which all teachers attend – but the students have all gone on to brighter and less stressful summer activities. All thoughts of school are fading quickly from their minds.
And what a year.
In the days to come, I’ll have plenty to do: some work for next year’s courses, a week at an AP summer institute in Atlanta, a couple of fun trips, plenty of books I plan to devour, a dog to take walks with, and two and a half weeks of summer school to teach. In short, there won’t be too much time to miss the kids and wonder what adventures they’re pursuing, although I look forward to hearing from them in the fall. Many of my students from this last trimester will transition into AP US History with me in August, so I’ll get the pleasure of working with a couple dozen familiar faces when we reconvene.
I’m really proud of myself for this first year, mostly for surviving and thriving and discovering that this is something I love. I’m thrilled, too, that I’ve spent time reading for fun again. I’m getting better at learning how to take time to breathe – to know when to leave the laptop at school and let the grading wait for another day, and when to dig in to the work and get it all done.
But I also confess that I’ve spent this weekend halfway in a daze. Yesterday I felt the sheer exhaustion creeping up on me, but that’s probably mostly because I had two weeknight activities this past week that kept me out ’til midnight. Soon, there will be more blogging, particularly with reflections on this past year, where I’ve been and where I’m going, and all the adventures I hope to have myself this season of bright skies and warmth.
As a taste, here’s a photo of my summer reading list. I count something like 75 titles altogether (e-reader titles added in), so it’s not for the faint of heart. For now, though, I think the fro yo is calling my name before I settle in for the penultimate episodes of The Killing and Mad Men.