The last few days of school were an emotional whirlwind. This school year has been the most difficult of my teaching career for a variety of reasons. I asked my students to be reflective in end of year letters to me and well, the results were heart wrenching. Many wrote about how they felt I was mean and yelled. They however didn't acknowledge their own poor behavior choices, but I guess that comes with maturity.
We watched Frozen, signed yearbooks, and did a circle of sharing where we talked about our favorite memories. I passed back letters from their first days and notes from their parents. I gave them their wordles and allowed plenty of sharing time for their paper slide videos (end of year novel projects). We had counselor lessons on adjusting to middle school and they had time to practice opening combination locks. Right before the awards assembly I read Oh the Places You'll Go and shared with them how privileged I was to be their teacher.
(I wasn't the only one in tears after reading this book)
With the help of my grade level, we created a PowerPoint slide show to share with their families at the awards assembly and moving up ceremony. We tracked down their kindergarten yearbook pictures to include in the presentation which was a tear-jerking touch. After their ceremony, we lead the fifth graders outside where the rest of the school was waiting to clap them out. It was an emotional day for the fifth graders and their families.
The next day (last Thursday) was our final contracted day. I was kept 2 hours past my scheduled check out time because I'd left paper in my room. Mind you, this was unopened notebook and copy paper, stacked neatly in a drawer labeled supplies and was left for the incoming teacher. This what I thought was kind gesture was frowned upon by certain persons and had to be undone before I could leave. So much for trying to be kind! Our rooms were also searched after hours and various supplies were reclaimed when we weren't there to vouch for them. There isn't an educator I know that doesn't purchase supplies (like notebooks, glue sticks, etc) out of pocket, so for these to be snatched back late at night was simply absurd...and another reason that validates my decision to change schools!
So after 5 long years, I bid adieu to room 45. I'm off to start a new adventure.
Today is my day, I'm off to great places. I'm off and away!