I’m back from my little hiatus. How long has it been – two weeks, I think? Maybe a little more. I knew I was going to need the break from blogging, and just about everything else, as I turned all of my attention towards my students for the last two weeks of school.
It was a fun two weeks. We had something going on every day, including:
– Field Day: Not sure if the rest of you teachers out there have field day, but it involves rotating through different activities with the rest of the school, with most of them being outside. There are always a few water activities too, and I always end up soaked myself.
– A trip to our local park, where, similarly to field day, the 5th grade only rotated through a few stations, including rolling around in a giant hamster ball. My personal favorite was kickball and volleyball with my class.
– A game show came to our school. It went by grade level, so again, it was just the 5th grade. This company had everything – the whole setup of a game show, with buzzers and prizes, music, etc. They had some academic-type questions and some physical challenges, like having the kids on the floor, eating pudding off a plate without using their hands. Then of course, the teachers were forced into participation, and though I didn’t answer any academic questions correctly (do you know how many zeros are in a google?), I was able to be the first one to answer, “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”
– Bingo, with candy for prizes.
– A kickball tournament.
– Two pizza parties, one for our class only for winning the “Penny Wars” competition (we raised over $450 in my room alone), and one yesterday for the whole 5th grade on the last day.
– The “moving up” ceremony. In my old school, this was always a pretty big deal. This year, we tried to keep a lot of the same characteristics. It went very smoothly, actually, despite the fact that the temperature got to over 100 degrees, and we were packed into the gym 400 people strong, with no ventilation whatsoever. My five teaching partners and I were very prepared, taking turns reading the names of the award winners, shaking hands, etc. The kids all dressed up, which is one of my favorite parts. They always complain beforehand but love seeing each others’ outfits when the day comes. Teachers dress up too, and in addition, I surprised my class by singing the national anthem with a student.
-And finally, yesterday was the last day. I loved my class this year, probably more than any other, so I was dreading this day. We had Popsicles, a final assembly where we handed out a few more awards, saw a few slideshows, ate pizza, got in one last kickball game at recess, signed yearbooks, and then I had my group huddle. I started it last year, and it was such a nice way to end. With about 10 minutes left to go in the day, a few parents had made their way into my room, and I asked them (probably rudely, but oh well) to leave so I could have the huddle without anyone else in there. Then we literally got into a huddle, and I thanked them for everything, wished them luck next year, etc.
The kids were balling. Of course, partly it’s the concept of mass hysteria, which works for any age group. A few people get crying, and it spreads like wildfire. It started with one student, who began crying a good half hour before the end of school, watching a slideshow. He’s been at the school since kindergarten and I think the realization of moving forward to a new school kind of hit him all at once. Then, back in my room, kid after kid started becoming upset, until I’d say a good 20 out of 23 kids were crying. Even my toughest boys were wiping their eyes. I hate that. I don’t cry, not in front of them, because I just don’t feel like I should be making them more upset. I gave out lots of hugs, and said goodbye, which I don’t do well.
And here we are, the next morning. I received the most awesome present a few days ago from the girl whose mother was the one we raised money for:
Her father came in and said, “We wanted to fill it with chocolate but ____ said we should use peppers instead!” It was very cute. I cut them all up and brought them into school the next day, and my students were ecstatic to eat a ton of peppers. I also got this wonderful note from another student:
You know that you have an amazing teacher when you call her mom by accident, look up to her, and walk in the class feeling great when you see your teacher and all those things are true to me .You make me feel like a better person .
These are the things that make this job worth it. I know I have a lot to learn when it comes to teaching – I’m only five years in. But this class in particular I am grateful for, for allowing me to care for them, and give as much as myself as I could. I have always opened myself up to my students, as I feel it’s important in making those connections. This year, though, was different. I started playing at recess (kickball mostly, but racing and basketball prior to that) on Friday afternoons, and in the last few weeks, it turned into almost every day. I did something with them last week I’ve never done with any class – I took them to the piano in the cafeteria, and they all gathered around it, and I played them some classical music. I took lessons for 11 years but stopped, and just picked it up again. Together, the students and I created this safe, family-type community atmosphere in my room, and it was so nice, every single day.
I know I was doing this partially for selfish reasons, but because it was beneficial for the kids as well as myself, I’d call it a win-win. I was filling that void, the void of not being pregnant when just about everyone in my age group is. The void of meaningless thoughts – thoughts about not even being close to getting pregnant, when instead, I could think about my kids. That student who called me “mom” was one out of, I’d say 10 or so students who accidentally called me “mom” on a regular basis. I’m not their mom, and I reminded them of that every time, as they would blush with embarrassment. But deep inside, of course, I take it as a compliment. My students are proving it – I could be a mother. I could be a great mother.
I know it will take me a few days to get my class out of my head, but it will happen. I will adjust, I always do. I just need to be sure to fill my summer with a lot of activities – I must keep busy or I will go crazy. Besides, I do have something to look forward to on Monday – my appointment with my RE. You know, the one I’ve been waiting over a month for.
As a recap, because it’s been a while, I didn’t ovulate on the 150 dose of Clomid, and it did crazy things with my emotions, and I refused to stair-step up to 200 mg. Therefore, the nurse recommended I move on to injectables, which I’ll happily do, but they wouldn’t let me until I meet with the RE first, and he had no appointments until Monday. Monday, for the record, will be CD 46. I have tried not to think much about this waste of 46 days, except to remind myself that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss any school the last few weeks, so maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.
Hopefully by Monday my thoughts will be swimming with questions about injectables and no longer my amazing students, but until then, it’s a bittersweet weekend.