Today is the day! Today is the last day! Today is the day!! Today is the LAST DAY! (I hope you were singing that as you read, because that is the mantra that will be on repeat in my head all day long! As a teacher, this is that day that I have been looking forward to for, well, a while! And as a human being, well, maybe even a little bit before that! I can remember April 25th as the day that I was pretty much checked out, and my students were done days before that.
In EighthGradeLand, we have done A LOT! And as this week has crawled by, I have been losing it a little more each day!I literally feel as crazy as Lartine from Robin Hood: Men in Tights. For those of you who have no idea who I'm talking about, allow me to provide a visual!
Seriously, that is me during each passing period, standing outside my classroom door. I can literally feel her oozing out of me, or maybe I am just becoming her! I already have gray hair... Yes, at 24, I have gray hair, and I could match each hair with a student or a stress from the past two years of teaching. I can feel the snaggle-teeth coming, and my mentality... Let me give you a little insight into my girl Latrine, here! She does, says, and believes what she wants, even when it is absolute nonsense! She is blunt and really doesn't know or follow the expected rules of society. Now picture all of that walking around a middle school! Yeah, that's how it's been.
Along with the Latrine look, let me tell you what the life of a middle school teacher (Starting at about April 25th) feels like! For this, I'll need a little help from the street urchins of the ever-wonderful musical, Les Miserables:
"At the end of the day you're another day older,
And that's all you can say for the life of the poor.
It's a struggle, it's a war,
And there's nothing that anyone's giving.
One more day, standing about, what is it for?
One day less to be living.
At the end of the day you're another day colder,
And the shirt on your back doesn't keep out the chill.
And the righteous hurry past,
They don't hear the little ones crying...
And the winter is coming on fast, ready to kill.
One day nearer to dying!"
YES! That! *Hands clapping, raised up to the sky!* Yes! That is it.
Now, don't get me wrong! As crazy as I am and have been for the past few weeks, I have been just as sappy and sentimental. I looked at my students as they gave their final presentations and thought, "I have raised you from an animal into a respectable almost freshman." "I remember when you hated presenting, and you still do... But now you've learned that complaining about it will get you no where!" "Wow, you really understood everything that I wanted you to, and you were able to connect it with your life." And as I have interactions with my kids... "I remember when you hated me because I switched you into this class. You had nothing to do with me, and now you come see me at my desk before the bells to start and end class." You were once WAY too cool for everything, and now you're dancing in front of me to try to make ME feel awkward!"
I won't get to see one of my favorite groups of kids today, but you can be that when my partner teacher sees them, I will be in there telling them how much I love and care about them. I will thank them for letting me be their teacher. I will thank them for letting me have "Real Talk" sessions and "Come to Jesus" meetings with them (where we talk about issues within the class and try to set them straight.) I will tell them how proud of them I am, and that I am always here for them. And I will probably cry... Because I cry at everything, and because these kids can do ANYTHING they could possibly ever want and can accomplish anything they set their minds to, and they NEED to know that. If they hear it from no one else, they will have heard it from me, believing in them 100%!
And that, my friends, is what being a teacher (I'm going to be honest...) almost always feels like. A lot of "Latrine" and even more love!