Sunday, June 6, 2010

Last Day Reflections

Tomorrow is my last day with students, round one. Tuesday is my last day with students round two. I've often found myself thinking I was living through the movie Groundhog Day. My kindergarten schedule is every other day, rotating Fridays. So, within two weeks my students come to school for five days. They have a two day week and then a three day week. That alone has presented many challenges.

I just wrote my my last newsletter to forty seven families. The last day of school is often a great day for teachers. We are hugged, thanked, blessed, and hugged some more. I can't wait! With all this positive feedback I do find there to be sadness. I have to let go and say goodbye to my friends. My friends I have planned for, worked with, guided, modeled, and watched. I've watch them all blossom. I remember thinking that first day back in August, what did I get myself into again. I ran home to google a circle song, we didn't know how to make a circle so we could talk and see each other. There were so many things we didn't know how to do because school life was unfamiliar to us, including myself. It's very different in kindergarten.

It's not unfamiliar now. They can navigate our building with confidence. They know an entire staff because they watch us in awe, sending a silent blessing I'm sure. We've learned how to work in small groups, individually and be one in a group of 23 or 24. We've learned how to share and use our words to communicate our needs, wants, and learning. We've learned how to clean up after painting. We've learned how to clean up our own messes. We've learned how to be organized with our own things. Yes, we've learned literacy skills, math skills, and content skills. My final hope for each child is to continue to think and question. By thinking and questioning, I hope they will explore alternative solutions, be creative, strive for understanding and not just memorization.

When I think of our learning, I have to use we. My students have taught me a great deal this year. They've taught me and reminded me what it's all about. It's about being vocal, it's about inquiry, it's about doing things differently, being creative and creating. They are the happiest doing all of these things. I'm not sure you learn everything you need to know in kindergarten, but we covered a lot.

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