Thursday, June 26, 2014

Last School Day

I am sitting at my desk for the last time this school year, and won't sit here again until September. My grade book and lesson plans are turned in, grades are verified with Guidance, all proctoring assignments completed, final exams tied up and in the vault, requisitions finalized, good byes shared with colleagues not coming into work today. Having these few precious moments to reflect on the past months helps me to emotionally wrap things up.

Overall I feel it was a successful year. I had the usual cross section of students who excelled, students who did only what they needed to do, and students who didn't attend school enough to pass my class. The Art Show topped any other year in terms of quality of work, and I believe most students gained valuable experience in my classes. I had the pleasure of working with my long-distance colleague and friend Danna Fuller on a really cool mobile learning mandala project (read more about it here) and I can't wait to do it again next year. I enjoyed working with my Wilson colleagues, especially those in my "neighborhood", and I still love teaching. I do - I still love it. I did fall short in some areas, and next year I will do better -- I am already thinking of how I want to change some things up, and some new projects I want to try. Mostly I feel proud of what was accomplished in my classrooms.

But summer: time to heal, time to rest and accomplish and explore and socialize and to simply breathe. I am so grateful to have this time, and I know that it makes me a better teacher and a better person. Without this break I would be less effective in every area of my life, especially in my classroom.

Below are some exemplars I created for our Mandala project. Read more about these here.

Lenten Altar Mandala

Goat Mandala

Japanese Maple Mandala

Lake Shore Mandala