Look down now.
Well, I made it. This was a challenging year, and today if I sit down, I fall asleep.
Here is the year by the numbers:
72 bright students. So smart, so thoughtful, such independent thinkers.
Six or so really difficult to teach young men. Again, very bright, pulling the class. Sometimes wonderful success. Sometimes terrible failure. I never did figure out how to invest them in their own learning to harness all that energy into exploration.
72 iPads. Positives: creative projects, easy access to information, new ways to approach old problems, equal access, improved communication.
Negatives: mesmerizing games, breakage, breakage, and yes, breakage.
One four year faculty contract stewarded with the help of an amazing negotiations team (eight colleagues – including one incredible chairwoman) – and one incredible field representative.
Three new faculty members hired (two team/one department).
72 short stories shaped into one anthology.
Hundreds of thousands of words of student writing read.
One high school graduate (my eldest). One successful college search.
One retirement party hosted. Another party attended.
Five colleagues leaving the seventh grade team (counseling intern, maternity sub, sabbatical sub, new family starting, retiree after 42 years of teaching)
144 narrative comments – over two semesters
144 checklist mid-semester comments –
Four comment deadlines met on schedule
24 parent teacher conferences
36 weekly check-ins
160 daily reports (one child)
Hundreds of emails to parents
36 Monday lunch duties.
36 team meetings
18 altered weekly schedules
Two nights camping with the class.
Billions of stars seen those nights.
Six dozen marshmallows consumed (by my group alone)
Zero emergency room visits
2 broken limbs
Zero incidents of on-line bullying (at least reported- a first)
Countless nights of insomnia
20 performances of the show at the Actors gym (all three of my girls in it this year)
There are more, but this gives you the flavor of the year. I haven’t been on twitter, I failed to post here, I have almost stopped responding to my favorite blogs. Facebook, yes, because I can share photos of the girls with family in NY/NJ.
So today I stepped off the moving walkway.
I want to read, and stop stress eating, and go for walks, and throw stuff out, and go to the beach, and work in the garden, and make blueberry-rhubarb pie, and sleep though the night.
The solstice is upon me, and I promise not to panic but instead sing down the sun.