Monday, June 13, 2005

Summer Learning

The first school year in Aruba has ended. It was one of the more pleasant end-of-school-years I’ve had. My middle school students, overall, stayed focused and on track with their work. The final exam I gave wasn’t too difficult, but did cap off the learning from this year. I’m pleased with the work and progress of my students.

However, for me, it didn’t really feel like an end of year. Being in a warm climate, there is no change of weather. Usually, the blooming trees and flowers give rise to spring fever and the smell of cut grass indicates the end of the year. In Aruba, it is always hot and there isn’t grass to cut. The physical signs of spring and summer never happened. This could be why I was teaching and giving homework up to the last day – it didn’t feel like school was ending.

Preparations have begun for the move to the new building. Every book, pencil, and stapler has been thrown into a box, to reappear at the new site. It really will be a new beginning next school year, as we all step into new classrooms and try to figure out how to use our new spaces. Organization has never been my strong point, and this move just makes that all too clear. My neighboring colleague has every box nicely labeled with the contents – I have my name and a one word description. I’m going to be kicking myself come August as I try to figure out where the really important stuff is.

Summer is always time for rejuvenation and new ideas. This summer I have the opportunity to attend two different profession development workshops. The first is about curriculum mapping and the second is the National Educational Computing Conference. I love having the chance to spend time with other professionals who are as excited about teaching as I am. It is incredibly invigorating. I especially enjoy spending professional time with my teacher husband. Our "romantic dinners" are spent talking about the speakers and ideas that were presented during the day.

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