(Temporarily) Stepping Outside the Classroom: My last few weeks.

It’s been a whirlwind of a 2016-2017 school year and year in general, starting from summer programs with PCMI, Cuba travel through Fund for Teachers, and traveling to Peru. Then on to coaching new teachers through the New Teacher Center, and then…getting married. So yeh, that happened.

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Loved our photographer, Amber!

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And so I’ve moved to Madison, Wisconsin from NYC. And I’ve decided to take a hiatus from teaching since Madison is at this point a temporary home as I hopefully move on to some other adventures (hopefully to be disclosed when things are a bit less in the air).

My life for a bit. This will be the first time since I was 4 that I’m not in a classroom as a student, student teacher, or teacher.

So as my colleagues, peers, and teacher friends begin a new year, I thought it was time to finally publish my logs that captured my last few weeks in the classroom.

Week of 5/22/17

  • It’s been really hard to be mentally present and be positive. It’s that time of the year when teachers and students start counting down the weeks, but this year is partially harder, but there are still 5 weeks to go so time to keep the head in the game!
  • I need to bring positivity into my classroom life, so in come warm fuzzies thanks to my amazing work wife, Claresa Mandola.

  • I’ve never done them before, so I was skeptical I could keep them engaged with this for 45+ minutes, but they loved it and couldn’t wait to get their fuzzies. After they made them, I collected them and sorted them into paper bags with each student’s name and then distributed a few days later.

                      

Week of 5/30/17

  • We started our team meeting with warm fuzzies–adult to adult. I got extremely emotional reading Staabs note to me since she mentions B being like family. She didn’t realize he was invited to the wedding, which affirmed her note even further! B is family!
    “–When you were reprimanding B, something in your tone, and they way he responded by sitting up straight and tall. I looked up startled, and realized – oh- they’re family. to be able to convey so much caring even in a reprimand – unbelievable.”

     

B during the family portraits

Week of 6/5/17

  • Math team was going to give the final unit exam to the classes. I decide to go rogue with my first period class. Instend we spend 3 days on “curve stitching” on paper based on a George Hart workshop I took at Math for America. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures while the kids we’re in action because I too was too involved in the activity! Students first worked on the 30 dot with the rule I+k, then we doubled for the 50 and 100 dot circles. When we doubled, this happened!

On the last day I showed students my curve stitched ring.

  • I’ve been holding students for detention after giving them fair amount of notice about not following directions. I’m over the scolding and repeated reminding. I just give them a pass for detention or let them know they’ll have it during lunch the following day.
  • Counting down the days and I feel checked out, but my coworkers note reminded me that what I consider “checked out” is still very much present at our school. I’m just not giving my usual 110%. I’m giving 90%.
  • This was a really short week. PD on Thursday and I’m taking a personal day again on Friday since it’s field day and I could use some time to wedding plan and pack.
  • Packed my bookshelf and desk at home and the surreal feeling is beginning to feel very real.

Week of 6/12/17

  • PD days are hard. They are always long and work piles up even more after them. Hard to stay present for things dealing with the new school year knowing that I won’t be back.
  • It feels like I haven’t seen the students forever! Last Wednesday was the last time I taught so I tried my best to really enjoy my time with them.
  • Thursday June 15 was one of the best days of the year. I felt that vibe across the entire school (w/ most people). I spent time talking to students. Checked in with some 7th graders I taught last year too! Classes were loud as they were talking, but they were working too.
  • One of the 7th graders I taught last year had lunch with us on Friday–and I told her I was getting married. She was pretty shocked and upset I didn’t let the 7th graders know sooner. I just never see them. When I tell the kids about not returning I’ll pull a few of them aside and let them know.
  • Toward the end of the week, K in my first period class asked if I was going to move now that I’m getting married…I said I’d let her know if that was going to happen. Some of the other girls overheard our conversation and then proceeded to let me know they got my back of my husband ever wrongs me.

Week of 6/20/17

  • I need to start packing things into boxes from my classroom. I feel overwhelmed knowing I have 4 years worth of stuff in the building. More of that continues at home.
  • I had students making tri-hexaflexagons.

  • I’ve begun cleaning out my school closets. I’ve accumulated so much stuff in 4 years. It’s been hard to decide what I want to keep and what I want to pass on to my colleagues. I also don’t want to go home with boxes and boxes of materials that need to be into storage until I’m back in the classroom.
  • Wednesday: I’m seeing some of my classes for the last time today for content classes. I’m glad that I’ll continue to see them for a few more days in more informal settings. The plan is to tell the kids tomorrow about leaving.
  • Thursday: I told B that I won’t be returning the following year. He’s the first student I’ve told. I knew it would be a hard conversation, but I wasn’t prepared for how hard it actually was. He sobbed. Loudly.
  • Friday: My class wasn’t  allowed to go on a trip that the rest of the school is on. I I I used the opportunity to clean and pack.
  • Told some of the 7th graders and my advisory today that I won’t be coming back next year. Most asked if I would come back for their moving up ceremony at the end of the school year.
  • D cried a lot and soothed herself by reading. She texts me all the time to ask questions about day to day stuff at school so I told her to keep in touch with me. We’re going to have lunch together next week and I told her to bring whoever she wanted.
  • Another student, I. looked so bummed and asked, so you’re leaving us for a guy? Partially, yes I guess.

Last two days of school

I didn’t get a chance to log anything for the last two days. It was hectic as usual — but I tried spending time with my coworkers in between cleaning and organizing the room. Had lunch with students and then dinner after work with coworker/friends. And then on to 3 weeks of final planning for the wedding…

 

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Some of the lovely people I’ve come to work with (and teach) the past four years.
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