Bittersweet. I can't believe the school year is over! What an awesome year it's been. 27 goodbyes yesterday to the the little people I've spent the majority of the past 10 months with. Unbelievable.

Last year on the last day of school I cried. I had so much anxiety in saying goodbye to my very first class- the fear of the unknown. What if I never again had such a great class? What if I couldn't top the work I'd done with them? What would it be like with brand new faces come September?

Yesterday, however, I didn't cry. While it was overwhelming watching them leave for the last time as my students, I know now that it isn't so bad. That a new group of children can come in as strangers and leave having formed a bond that will last years. And as far as missing anyone, I actually can't get rid of them:)! This year I had a group of about 10 of my students from last year who came, religiously, every single day to say good morning and another 4 who stopped by on their way out the door every afternoon. It was awesome.

With my new class came new obstacles, new rewards, new individuals who needed to be taught in ways that challenged me. Always on my toes. Never a dull moment. A hectic day was a good day. Just the way I like it.

I will take so much away from this school year. I thought outside of the box and believe I gave my students a school year they'll always remember fondly. I am so thankful that I was the one who had the opportunity to teach them.

Another reason that I may not have cried yesterday is because I'M LEAVING FOR EUROPE TOMORROW! I haven't had time to even wrap my brain around this until today! I have so much to do and I am so, so thrilled to take a MUCH needed break. I am happiest when I'm exploring, and for the next 3 weeks that's just what I'm going to do. Smell ya layta work!!


Lights Out!

I am WAY behind on things I want to write about. It is amazing how much time and energy it takes to wrap up the school year. SOLs are OVER (!) and I have taught my entire curriculum, yet the students' last day is not until next Thursday. So our days lately have been filled with topics I find interesting but don't directly correlate to the third grade curriculum, such as the Lewis and Clark expedition, astronomy and physics. I assigned what I called the Mission (Im)possible Egg Drop Contest. The assignement was to make a container that would protect a raw egg from breaking on impact when thrown from the roof of the school building. We talked about potential and kinetic energy and shock absorbtion and they had the weekend to design the perfect container. Yesterday they brought them in, raw egg inside, and I was so impressed! They used play-doh, bubble wrap, cotton balls, balloons, marshmallows- one student even built a parachute on top of his container! Yesterday afternoon I used the ladder in the supply closet to climb on top of the roof of the school building and, with another teacher's help, hoisted all of the egg containers onto the roof using a bag and a piece of yarn (I know- I'm crafty!). One by one, with the students cheering, I threw each container off the roof. You're not going to believe this, but over 2/3 of my 8 and 9 year-old students designed containers that PROTECTED THE RAW EGG! The look on each of their little faces as they discovered their egg intact was priceless.
With the Economics Fair and Egg Drop contests over, the next few days will be spent getting ready for our class showcase.
Yesterday on my way home from work it started storming, and by the time I got home our power had gone out. Chris said that he had heard a loud bang so we had a feeling we might be sans light for a while. Now... I'm not addicted to the television or computers, but suddenly when I had neither I didn't know what to do with myself! Chris and I decided to play gin rummy, which managed to last several games before I eventually had to quit. You see, Chris is not what I would call a gracious winner ( :) ) and game after game of him kicking my tail and laughing outloud is bad for our relationship. The only reason I stayed calm as long as I did last night was because there was literally nothing else to do. Normally I want to smack him after one or two games- and yet I always come back for more?! Why do I do this?!
After I informed him that I would not be losing to him anymore, we went to see The Hangover and I really enjoyed it! I always find in movies that everyone around me is laughing outloud except for me and whoever I'm with. I like to think that it is because I surround myself with friends who share my intelligent sense of humor, and slapstick comedy just doesn't work for us, Chris included. So we were a little nervous when, in the first few minutes, the rest of the theater was rolling on the floor and the 2 of us looked like we were watching golf on tv. However, it turned out to be a very entertaining movie and one I'd see again.
When we got home our power was STILL out. We sat together for a long time talking before using out handy outdoor lights (thanks Big Mama!) to read into the wee hours. We heard the electricians in our back yard at 3:00 in the morning, and soon our power was back on. But as I told him this morning, there's no one I'd rather have had to sit in the dark with. Somehow we still made it fun.
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