Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Zero Days Left

I have never been emotional about the last day of school really. I figure I have spent the entire year getting them ready to go on to first grade with confidence. If they leave me smiling and feeling on top of the world then I have done my job well.
Today, they left smiling, happy and ready to take on first grade.

There were a couple of moments...mothers saying thank-you almost always does me in.
One of our wonderful 5th grade teachers has her kids write thank you cards to all the teachers that they believe have helped them get to where they are...ready to go to middle school...and then they take a Victory Lap around the school and deliver their cards. I got 3 from her students that I had in Kindergarten!
One of my little ones who will be going into 3rd grade next year gave me a card and wanted to know how we are going to stay in touch now. We were in the same hallway this year and had hugs aplenty. I found her and assured her that we would find a way.

Yesterday the kids got to pick all the things they wanted to do today and it was my job to find a way to fit them all into the day! We created from the scrap box (hardly anything is more fun than cutting, gluing, coloring pieces of paper left over from old projects...it's fun to hear them remember what the paper was used for originally), had bubbles and races outside, painted (I almost never get the paints out, but they did a great job), made BIG pictures on BIG paper(they remembered the 9' tall Scakagrall we had made at Halloween), had a picnic snack, sang favorite songs and packed all of their stuff. It is an indication that they don't really get "it" about the end of the year when they ask, "Why are we taking our art boxes home?"...
They wore home the sailor hats they wore the first day of school and were astonished that they fit!
Here are some photos of the day:
 Some wonderful "scrap" art...an ocean mural!

Good toss and good catch....(as we show them how it is supposed to be done)
  Bad toss and wet feet!

      Flying frogs or gorillas....

        Bubble magic!

  Coconut race.  And then it was lunchtime.There was a lovely salad, but this cake...oh.my.goodness.  One of our colleagues provided lunch and the cake!  Yummy.

BIG paper pictures.  Me and my monsters.

  And painting.  Look at that concentration.
Remember when I said that if they leave happy and confident then I have done my job well...

        ...job well done!
It ended well.
All that is left is paperwork, packing and the PARTY!


  1. Well done my dear friends, WELL DONE!! It was a good day. Love to you both and wish you the very very best retirement! You've paid your dues and it's MUCH deserved. :D

  2. Now I NEEEEEEEED that cake!!!!

  3. Thanks! Finding you for a friend was such a bonus of the last two years and I'm working on getting the recipie! Calm down.

  4. It looks you really had a greeeaaat time! What now? An over seas trip maybe;)?
    Love you both!

  5. Well, I need to build a house first, but you are for sure on the list of things to do! Love you, too!

  6. How did I ever miss sitting down to write this on the last day? What's wrong with me? You don't get sentimental on the last day, but I do. I am. Oh, those little faces. And oh, what treasures of love and imagination and courage and laughter you have allowed them - planted in their hearts and minds. Again - I wish I could look back on a single teacher who made me feel what these children have felt under your tutelage. And darn that Constance. If you make a cake, I want some too.

    So I want to know. How did you feel that afternoon? Did you feel lighter? Like the last day of exams at University? How do you feel now? I wonder what it's going to be like when we walk through that veil that stands between us and eternity, and all the stuff of earth falls away? Will I be sad to lose that love and association - even if it's for just a little? Or will I shoot up into the ethos spinning and swooping?

    But I know you're fine, or you wouldn't be kibitzing me on Facebook. You wait till I get my strength back up and my eyes all the way open -

  7. Hey - wait! What are those fish down there? COOL!

  8. Hey, K. I've been waiting for you...
    I am fine. Lighter is a good way to say it. Lighter like being lifted by a swell in the ocean. I really missed all the thinking and planning that goes on in the spring for the next year. I always had my next year's theme picked out and was getting excited about all the possibilities...missing that. I think the hardest part will be when school starts and I see those busses. Oh, before that I will miss buying school supplies. I will have to adjust my thinking about when a year starts...mine has been an August start since I started school. I guess I can go to a January start now....or maybe not.
    And the fish...I asked for them to be on the blog through some template manipulation and it said they were but I never saw them before today. Wonder if they have been there all along? Cute.
    I'll make sure Connie shares the cake!

  9. Donna,

    Best wishes on your retirement! I found your blog about a month ago & have enjoyed reading about you & your adventures with your kids & colleagues. You have inspired me to write a blog during my last year of teaching. (which is 5 years away) But, it would be hard to write a blog as interesting as yours :) thank you for sharing!


  10. Carly, how happy that makes me. What do you teach and where? Those 5 years will fly by! Thank you for your kind words and for reading along with me.

  11. Okay, so I haven't been following along for long, but the bit that I have seen has told me that you are an endearing and inspirational teacher. That you have helped grow the community’s children with skill and creativity. That you ARE indeed the answer.

    And you got *me* feeling emotional about the last day!

  12. WSW, I love that you said I helped grow the community's children. That is what I did and it was good.
    Do you need a tissue? :-)

  13. Donna,

    I just finished my 30th year of teaching. It's hard to think about the very last day of my teaching career. I'm sure it will be bittersweet. I currently teach k-4 art in a small town in Illinois. Where did u teach? I have found that kIndergarten teachers are a very special group of teachers. They need more energy, creativity, & endurance than almost anyone I know. Congratulations on a wonderful career!


  14. Carly, K-4 art...that would be a job I would take even now except for that pesky certification issue. I love helping kids create! I taught (hmmm, first time I haven't written teach...) in northern WV.

  15. Your year will not so much as start at a different time as it will simply disappear, the ends fading into the beginnings so often and oddly that there won't really won't be a start like there has been. You'll look up, and suddenly it's summer, or fall or whatever and you'll say - how'd we get here? We were just building a house and THIS happened - all these beautiful leaves. COOL.

    At least, that's what it's been for me since the kids' school cycling no longer applies -

  16. Easing through the seasons seems good enough to me. I am hoping that the specific days are not that important, because I have trouble keeping track of them in the summer...is it Zumba day, trash day, Sunday????