As of Friday around 1:30, I have officially been on SUMMER BREAK!!! (at least from work, as my Maymester grad class does not end until this Friday...)
It was very strange finishing out this year. I was stressed, very short on patience, and frankly feeling quite gigantic. For the past couple of years, the school year has ended with weekly time trials down at Cherry Creek, which managed to keep me sane, relaxed, and focused on something else rather than the end of school. This year school ended with me taking classes four out of five nights a week, little to no exercise, and little to no actual sleep.
It was rough.
Luckily the kids were good and we ended the year on a positive note. Chris was sweet enough to join us at our end of the year celebration (parents like to call it "graduation", but really? It's Kindergarten...). We both watched in awe as one of my little guys wolfed down a plate FULL of hot cheetos and washed it down with orange sugar juice -- and that was all. We were constantly amazed at the parents inhaling multiple plates of food and pizza while the teachers stood around hungry. Chris played a version of "fetch" with the wound up five year olds for an hour outside to help burn off the four or five cupcakes that they each managed to snag before anyone noticed.
My favorite part of the day? One parent wanted a class picture, so we gathered up all of the cheeto stained kids and smiled for a few pictures before one of them, and then all of them, adamantly insisted that Chris be in the picture too. Those kids loved him from the moment they saw him and they were luckily enough to have in come in help on a fairly regular basis. Even if he was just in for a few minutes, they would crowd around him with books or their writing journals and want nothing more than to read with him, show off their writing, or tell him funny stories. By the end of the last day, he even became their new tattling post (much to my pleasure to pass on that crown). Chris is an AMAZING teacher for those kids and as hard as I've tried I can't seem to convince him to teach Kindergarten. Any school that doesn't hire him to teach there is missing out on an amazing opportunity. There are not many of him out in this world -- wanting to teach because he genuinely wants to make a difference -- his care, love, and management shocks me every time I see him with my students.
Packing up my classroom this year was a bit of a bitter sweet experience. I absolutely could not wait to be done. This summer holds so many exciting things that I've waited years and years to do -- painting and preparing a nursery at the top of that list. But at the same time, it was hard to pack up the classroom knowing that when I return in August, I will be 9 months pregnant, about to explode, and essentially setting up MY classroom and MY students for someone else to teach for three months. I know that when I go back after Thanksgiving, I will want to be somewhere else. There will be another kid in my life to focus my energy on, and I know that it might take a year or two to get back to being as good of a teacher as I know I can be. It will be, well, different.
Good different, but different.
And I'm not generally a fan of different. Different overwhelms me.
Hence many many tears yesterday, some undue anxiety, and inner stress when all I *should* be doing is enjoying being on summer break.
But, as with any year, I think a week of decompression and rest is going to make all the difference in the world.
Then we can start working on that nursery!!
Meanwhile, since blogs are not as fun without pictures, here are a few from our little jaunt up Eldorado Canyon today -- Chris bouldering around, me pushing his pad so he would fall on something soft.
As we hiked up to the boulder, Chris told me "we have to think of something funny to answer when people ask what's on my back?" (bouldering pad), I just sorta scoffed but not thirty seconds later a nice, old, tourist man said "What is that thing on your back?" Haha. It was funny...
26 weeks! Chris now calls me "Chunky Monkey".
I am one to admit that I think bouldering is one of the stupider aspects of climbing. You climb something short, with no protection but a pad on the ground. Chris took me so I could see what it really is like. He's right. It serves its purpose, looks hard, and is not really that dangerous (at least today, haha).