My last post mentioned the closing of the 3rd quarter. Well, that was a long time ago. Sorry about that. I don’t know exactly what kept me from writing. Somehow, it became an extra thing that I felt an obligation to do, and I didn’t want to feel any extra obligations so I kept pushing it away even though I wanted an updated blog. I guess I wanted the blog to magically update itself. To be able to read into my mind and spew out reflections.
But of course, that didn’t happen. So here I am now, at the close of the 4th quarter. Really, beyond the close of the 4th quarter. The year is done done done. I am 3 days into summer vacation. I’ve spent the past 72 hours bbqing, playing scrabble, sitting, talking, and laughing with friends and family, sleeping late but not too late, seeing a movie, reading blogs, walking, enjoying our deck. It’s been summer to its fullest.
The end of the year was quite anticlimactic. I spent 10 months teaching, learning, building community, reading, writing, experimenting, crying. I think I expected something magical to happen at the end. Maybe we’d all turn into fairies and take a flight lap around the school’s roof. Maybe we’d all begin speaking in poetry and openly reveal our intimate bonds and our love for one another. I don’t know what, but I think I expected something.
The schedule for the last few days was very bizarre. We had full days of school on Monday and Tuesday. I tried my best to balance keeping peace and routine while also building in plenty of culminating, reflective, and fun activities. The kids were home on Wednesday. Teachers packed up their rooms. The kids were supposed to come back for one hour on Thursday and then be on their way for the summer. One hour. How goofy is that? I planned a closing community circle, one last read-aloud, and a memory book signing activity.
Only 8 kids came. And one of those kids left with his mom after 3 minutes. So really, there were only 7 kids. My kids gasped, oo-d, and ah-d over how few of them there were, over how empty the classroom was. We did the activities I had planned, but everything went super quickly since two thirds of us were missing. Impromptu planning led to some play-doh time, and then we walked together out the door, hugged, and the kids ran away in summer-vacation-glory.
Having only 8 kids meant that I only said goodbye to 8 of my kids. I only gave one last good hug to 8 of my kids. Our memory books are all only filled with notes from 8 other people. Only 8 of my kids shared what they were excited and nervous about starting 3rd grade, and I only told 8 of my kids that they really would be ok. Only 8 of my kids got to see the room physically prepared for the summer. Only 8 of my kids saw how carefully I packed up the library, treating it like the holy space that it is. I only told 8 of my kids that I was moving.
I’m missing some closure. It’s not like I’ll run into my kids at the grocery store. Our physical worlds are pretty darn distant and they’re about to become even more so.