Welp, it's here. Summer! I'm not sure it's really settled in yet. I still feel like I'm firmly in teacher mode. What in the world is wrong with me? I am enjoying drinking my morning coffee from a real mug though. That's a real plus. I'm particular about my mugs. Currently I'm in love with my Bodum mugs from Crate & Barrel, they're super light and really keep the coffee hot longer than a regular mug. I'm also currently sporting nasty dragon lady fingernails because I'm long overdue for a fill and half of them are broken or chipped from packing my entire room and balancing it on a 20 inch countertop. Look familiar?
It was actually a little easier this year because I did a major clean-out and purge in the middle of the year. So anyway, before all this packing up, we had an eventful few days leading up to the end of a great year. I'll do it in pictures. I love seeing into other people's rooms, I'm nosey like that. I have a feeling you're a lot like me. So, let's start with the party. Our last day of school was Thursday, but we have a ginormous school so we all have our parties on different days. Ours was Monday. I like getting it over with and out of the way early. This year I decided to have it outside. We back up to a big, beautiful park and we normally only get to go there for 15 minutes every 3 days, so my kids were super excited to get out there for an hour and a half. It rained for about 5 days straight before the party, but my prayers were answered and on Monday morning the sun was shining. Yahoo!
We just set up some games all along the sidewalk and they played with whatever they darn well felt like playing with! No schedule or rotating or direction. And they loved it! The boys pretty much played kickball the entire time and the girls rotated around all the other games we had out for them. These kids are very active, so I knew that the outdoor party was the way to go for them. We do so many crafty things as part of our normal routine, so I wanted to just be able to let them play and go wild. And they did! And it was awesome. And I probably sweat (sweatted? swat?) enough to fill a gallon bucket. But it was worth it
not to have all that craziness in my room because the kids had a blast.
Ok, so the first picture in this block above almost made me cry. I have these two cute little girls who would always belt out the Star Spangled Banner on the announcements into glue-stick microphones with this stance that they thought was very respectful, almost like they're waiting to start a race with one foot out in front of the other. Well, when they started on the last day of school, all of a sudden, the rest of the class spontaneously joined them! I grabbed my phone as soon as I saw it starting to snap a pic and I got the perfect shot! Check out the look on the face of the little one in green as she realized what was happening. Precious! Then next pic is the gift I gave my team. They seemed to really like them, even though I didn't cute it up with a printed tag or anything. And of course, no year is complete without shaving cream day! Yes, that's a pig. And it's pooping.
I've never done end of the year awards before, but I did this year. I looked and looked at different awards but couldn't really find ones that I felt fit my special little group of nuggets. Valerie from Georgia Grown Kinders even made a special award for the little girl who sang the National Anthem every morning. In the end I went with the Candy Awards from my buddy Reagan at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits. You can see from their faces - they freakin loved them!
Then we had our "box lunch". Just lunch in the room with boxes as tables, which for some reason is super exciting for them. And then we snuggled up and watched a bit of a movie together. We didn't have a ton of time since it was a half day and we still had more excitement to come!
During the last few minutes of the year on Thursday, we rolled out the red carpet for our principal who is moving to another school. She walked through the entire school and all the kids (all 1200 of them!) were lined up in the hallways to say good bye. I had the pleasure of having her son in my class, so it was definitely a little emotional to see him see his mom being treated like a rock star. Two of my girls had some extra large hands to wave good bye with. There's actually another fun tradition at my school that I didn't capture in a picture, called the Clap-Out. All of the kids in the main building line up in the halls and clap for the 5th graders as they leave our school for the last time. I saw a bunch of my former students at dismissal and was able to give them a hug as they left. Many, many tears. From them. Ok, and me too. I can't help it. I'm a mush-ball. (no picture of me crying. You're welcome)
Then after all that emotional craziness, the kids went home and we collected ourselves and finished packing up the room. On Friday we go in and file the cums, finish any loose ends and have our rooms checked and then we head to a luncheon. This one was fantastic! It was at a local Italian restaurant. Perfect venue, amazing food, lots of fun.
It's hard to believe that next year will be my 20th year in the classroom. I think there should be some type of special award for that. You know, something to keep my mind off how old I actually am to be able to say I've been teaching for 20 years. I kid. Kind of. But not really.
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