Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Last day of school!

When alarm went off at 5:45 this morning, I shut it off, and then "unset" it for the summer. I didn't want the alarm waking me tomorrow.

Today was the last day of school.

For the next couple of months, I'll wake when my body chooses. My biorhythms will shift; I'll take naps if I need to. And the bathroom-- I'll go when I need to now. No more being at the mercy of the bell.

I won't even try to pretend I'm not as excited as the kids. All teachers are.

Who wouldn't be glad to have a respite from the intensity that goes with the job? This intensity is something that only teachers understand; most folks think the job looks easy. It's not, but you have to experience it to see why.

Yet come September, I'll be just as excited to go back to school. It's in my blood.

About the time that my fifth graders-- former fifth graders, now-- were playing kick ball after supper, I took a walk.

I started thinking about "my kids." I'd miss this bunch, but I know they'll drop in and see me next fall. They'll come back to visit as sixth, seventh and eight graders. After that, they'll go off to high school, and even then, if I'm lucky, some come back to say hi.

Then I remember. Next year is my last year. I opted for early retirement when it was offered as a bribe to move the older, thus higher paid, teachers out. I will have taught for 36 years; that makes me sound older than I feel.

So my time behind the desk is limited to 180 more days. Don't let me tell you I'm looking forward to retiring, although I am, because I'm not quite ready to give up the profession I chose for myself when I was in first grade.

Next year I'll focus on "my kids" with a bright spotlight because every thing will be a "last time" moment. When the last day rolls around-- the final last day-- those hugs will be extra special. If you haven't been hugged by a fifth grader, you don't know what you're missing. I'll know, and I'll miss it. A lot.
I received this gift today from Emma.

Mrs. Douillette
You taught science, social studies, and English, too.
You're thoughtful and helpful which makes you you.
You knew how to make everything fun.
You work and encourage kids until their work is done.
You always come up with helpful tricks,
Any problem you knew how to fix.
You're always busy; you never stop.
On my favorite teachers list, you're way at the top.
Filling kids with knowledge with just one touch,
You know next year I'll miss you so much!
You were always there to catch me when I'd fall,
Mrs. Douillette, you're the BEST teacher of them all!

Did I say I'll miss it a lot? I will. Meanwhile, summer vacation. Yes!


Heather said...

so sweet! have a wonderful summer - and enjoy not waking up to an alarm!

Ruth D~ said...

I'm not waking up to the alarm. But I'm already awake at that time for some sick, insane reason! Freakin' biorhythms!

Pat said...

Hi Ruth,
Just checking in. Love your pieces about school and home.Let's get together over the summer.