Saturday, May 12, 2007

Where did the year go?

Is it really May? Do you say this every year? Yes!!! Where did this year go?

I think this year was an especially trying time for my community, school, teachers and students. In January we missed 6 days of school due to a devastating ice storm. Families were without "power" for days and some people for weeks. Even when school reopened we had families and teachers without power. It took over a month for people to get just their own homes back in order let alone our yards and streets. We have been waiting for months for our legislature to determine whether or not they would "forgive" our ice storm days and the forgiveness finally came last week. Now we are all in a frenzy to try to end the year on a positive note. Once we got word that our last day would be in three weeks, everyone felt the rush of getting everything done. (Disclaimer - Some schools in our area declined to accept the forgiveness days and will be in school 6 days longer than their regular schedule.

My family was not as affected by the ice storm as most. I think the challenge for myself and my husband is that we both have public service jobs. My husband is a fireman and his crew was having a hard time making it to the locations where he was needed due all the tree debris in the streets. My challenge were the children's emotional state after being displaced for 2 weeks or running only certain household appliances for short periods of time with generators. It actually took the students longer to recover than parents which I have yet to understand.

We are counting the days until the end of the school year as we usually do but with greater anticipation than ever. We need the summer to recover and re-energize for another great year. I truly have an amazing group of teachers and staff to work with but we are tired. I f ind myself falling asleep as put my one year old to bed, only to wake up a couple of hours later with a head full of, "Oh, I forgot this. I need to do this. I need to remember to write this down. Oh, I forgot to return that email." The list is endless. Ice storm, state testing, newly adopted district computerized common assessments, etc. We are so lucky to work in a profession that we get two 'New Years' in on year, August and January. In August the year always begins with excitement and everyone is ready to try new things and build on things that they have tried in the past. January we get to return after a long holiday break and begin again.

10 MORE DAYS!!! The teachers are counting and so am I! Our theme for next year is "Cruising to Success with Willard East" a cruise ship theme. We have a new 2nd grade teacher, we will have a new special services teacher, I think, a new Behavior Support person and I hope I am not forgetting anything. Over the summer I will get a supply of cruise ship theme items and plan for another exciting year. We have our annual pool party scheduled and I will work on scheduling our summer book club. Friday was an amazing day that gave us all hope the year was going to end on a positive note. Field Day with a 4th grade performance and lots of tan/sunburned little ones running to bus, was a happy day for everyone!