May 18, 2010

The End is Coming

This is what it's all about

With the official countdown at 9 and a half days, I'm feeling pretty good. Here's nine reasons why...
1. My kids made an average of 1.3 years of reading growth from the beginning of the year until now. They are also really into the book fair right now which is awesome. "Ms. Labrie! I have my money, can I go buy a book? Please?" Music to my ears I tell you.
2. I got a wonderful review from my principal (and that goes on my official record, he he!).
3. I am in the process of moving into a new apartment, and after scrubbing every inch of it, I love it more and more. It's in an eleven-story apartment building about five blocks from where I'm living now. I'll be living on my own for the first time in 5 years of varying room mates, which makes me uber-excited. I love cleaning and organizing and decorating!
4. Even though the end is near, my students are hooked on Holes, a wonderful novel by Louis Sacher. It is so awesome that I can get over-excited children to calm down by just reading out loud. And even though they've ALL seen the movie, they are so immersed in the book with its twisting plots that when new clues or revelations pop up they squeal with delight and bounce up and down in their seats. I love my job. I get to see kids enjoy reading and I get to read in accents. Booya.
5. My sister is having a baby next month and I get to be there. I also get to buy stuff for the baby. And sing to the baby. And hold the little sweet baby....(imagine my voice getting higher and higher, less understandable with each word- yeah, that's about right)
6. I'm going on a road trip throughout the Northwest to visit family and friends after the baby is born. So if you want to see me, give me a ring or a letter or a smoke signal and we'll set something up.
7. Las Vegas, the city without a soul, sure knows how to have a good time. My family vacation there a few weeks ago was fantastic and just what I needed after the MAP testing frenzy.
9. Oh yeah, and the last day of school is on my birthday. How awesome is that?!?!

I still have to give a test, grade a project, hand out books for summer reading and make sure all my kids have library cards, but other than that I am almost done. Wow. A year has just flown by. I feel so exuberant about next year because I get to teach the same subject and grade level, which means I know where to start, what works and what to never, ever, EVER try again (like telling my kids I was on drugs after getting my wisdom teeth removed. That was a not-thinking moment). While I feel wiser and more experienced than I did a year ago, I am also thankful to still be alive (there were moments) and I know next year I will be able to do so much more. So much has changed since I started writing here, since I moved to St. Louis, since I graduated from UP.
I am not the same person I was twelve months ago. I don't laugh as much, but I appreciate laughing so much more. I remember every unkind thing a student has said to me, but I have a wall full of cards, poems and pictures from students who love me. I have seen children who come to school in dirty clothes, no food, no supplies and no manners, and they don't want to go home because school is the one place they are safe and cared for. I have been delighted, disappointed, horrified, made speechless, surprised, angry, sad, happy, ecstatic, and most of all proud of all my children. I will be sorry to see (most of) them go.
I have realized that while there are students I can't stand, each and every one of them deserves a chance. I thought I believed that when I started teaching, but it was just a philosophy, an idea. That idea was challenged this year many times (usually by the same students). Now, I am proud to say, it is a practice. That was my greatest challenge and most awesome triumph. Thank you for all your support and for reading. Until the next update...