Thursday, June 5, 2008

Closing Out

Today is the last day of school for Olivia. First grade was a challenge for her; she was called out on her bullshit a lot this year, she faced challenges with friendships and grew in so many ways. It was a year of huge successes; she was on Honor Roll for all 4 quarters; learned that she couldn't always breeze through everything with great ease and finally developed an understanding of what it is to treat people how you want to be treated. This is the last year she'll have Mrs. Read to charm and next year, she's getting a much tougher teacher; one we know she won't be able to manipulate with her bright smile.
For me, this year has been a learning experience. I started the beginning of year with a new, official role as a volunteer and it literally changed my life. The lessons I've learned are possibly greater than Olivia's. I learned how to maintain my dignity in the face of true aversion. I've learned how to deal with parents on a professional and straight-forward fashion without being abrasive or rude. The relationships I've cultivated with entire families this year have been priceless and one's that I'll hold onto for a very, very long time. I made a lot of mistakes, flew by the seat of my pants and had to clean up a lot of my own shit but I raised a lot of funds, organized community events and family involvement projects. The kids have had the greatest impact on my life; working with them on a daily basis has been more fun than I thought it would be. They made it all worthwhile when, while flipping through their school scrapbooks, I found that most of them listed their favorite school memory, activity or lesson involved me.
I'm looking ahead to next year a little wiser, a lot braver and maybe with some new organizational skills. I already have a summer to-do list as issued by various teachers, administrators and myself of things to plan, organize, clean and set-up; I cannot wait.
Before that, though, I am taking a break. First, a much-needed vacation to the New England mountains. Then I'm going to come home and focus on my own life for a little while before diving back into the swing of school. I have my own closets and pantries that have been severely neglected this school year. I cannot remember the last time I cleaned my ceiling fans and really - that's just plain gross. And I'm going to spend so much quality time with my husband that he's going to be so sick of me and beg me to go back to spending umpteen hours at school.
Yup. That's the plan.

No comments: