School let out at noon. I had two classes. One at 9:15 and I took my fifth
graders early so they didn't work right up until dismissal. Two of the
classroom teachers loved that they had half an hour to say good-bye. The
third asked why I didn't just keep them till dismissal. Go Figure!
My fourth grade had been paired, most of the spring, with another fourth
grade, for the making of the new sculpture walk. They had been complaining
that the others made it noisy and upsetting, when they wanted to work. So for
the last day I took them by themselves, thinking we could do some good work
in the classroom and have a nice end of the year project to take home.
They said, "We want to go up the hill and say good-bye to our sculptures." I
half hearted said I had something special planned, but they wouldn't take no
for an answer. Clip boards and paper, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, and
camera in hand we trooped up the hill. Their show! We stopped at the entrance
and we discussed ideas for the entryway, when we came back in September
--ooops---August. Then up the hill where they settled near their sculpture or
another and drew and wrote. One boy remade his whole sculpture into something
even more marvelous. I took pictures and marveled at the present they had
given me for that time. 20 minutes, half an hour, they still wanted to stay.
This was the most amazing hour I had at school all year.
My fifth graders (known as the #@%^$*^()*& fifth graders) had been waiting to
get their brush rests for three weeks. They made them in anticipation of
practicing a Chinese character. What a joy they were, too! Each chose a
character their own. Practiced making it, following the directions I had
Xeroxed from the book, and not one spill of ink. No fooling around, we could
actually hear ourselves think!
Each went home with the Xeroxes and many practice papers and their brush
rests. Oh they were so cute. Their imaginations had flown the day we made
them from clay. Of course, they will never learn that "skinny" doesn't work
with this clay, but they did a good job.
They even wished me a Happy summer!
Then many teachers went out to say good bye at the buses. Don't know why,
there's been anger and apathy all year. We just went, that's all. Hugs,
complete will sugar and jelly from parties. Kids hanging out of the buses
(just this once) yelling Good-bye and happy summer and we the teachers,
actually sad (in a way) to see them go, jumping around and waving good-bye
too. Just like a Movie!
That's all. The school looks dead without the kids and artwork on the walls.
We're going to be locked out after this week until a week before school
schools starts. My room will be a mess and no advance work will have been
done on projects. The new Principal comes on board when I'm away and so no
extra time will be allowed. Same old, same old ... The Head of Building and
Grounds announced to the custodian's meeting this morning that he had a
"Doozy" of a teacher in his building, just because we're trying to get access.
I guess I should be proud. I made an impression. My custodian would do
anything for us. He doesn't understand why we're locked out all the time.
Looking forward to a trip to our sister city in Russia, this fall.
Professional days and subs. paid for. I tried to go to Leningrad, 34 years
ago, on my way home from Iran. Never made it. So now I'm going to St.
Petersburg! Too excited about this turn of events. Now to find a grant!