Well, I survived the last day of school. Now, you all know how difficult this year's class was. I had some really badly-behaved children. I had one girl for 6 months who belonged in an emotionally disturbed class! I had another girl who was so hyper she would swing between two desks and crawl on the floor! I had another boy whose mother told me, "He didn't get along with his teachers the last few years!" (Oh, gee...THANKS!) Another boy immediately challenged me and wanted to take over my class! Oye vei! It was a LONG year, believe me! Sometimes I would come home too exhausted to do anything but sit and stare at the TV and fall asleep in my leather chair! So, they ALL wanted a party the last day (oh, joy!). I agreed. They wanted to bring their lunch into the room and eat in the room and yesterday it was only 92 degrees here with a gentle breeze. They could have gone outside to play at recess, but chose to eat in the room. I brought them strawberries and cherries and fruit juice. And, you know what? They behaved. I was amazed. NOBODY got out of line! NOBODY punched another kid! They .... MATURED! They are ready for the next grade level! I even turned on the radio and let them listen to their music (only for about 15 minutes because it gave me a headache!) And, when the bell was ready to ring, they all lined up at the door and gave me a hug when it rang! ALL OF THEM! I fought back the tears, smiled bravely, hugged them, tussled some hair, hugged some of them AGAIN, and gave them the secret farewell gesture from Little Rascals! Some of them came back 3 or 4 times for hugs! That has NEVER happened before! And, another little boy, sent wrote me a note, "Mrs. Dean, I'm going to MIST you!" So, I guess they weren't so bad after all! And, I'm going to MIST all of them! And, now vacation, glorious vacation, begins in earnest today. I'm going to work the two mustangs Scout and Cali and groom the others. Phew! So many things to do!
And a P.S.
My school lost 7 good teachers. 49 were laid off in my district and we lost 2 to layoffs at my school. Another 5 tranferred to other sites because my district is no longer going 20 to 1 in a classroom. We all expect to have 30 students next year. One of the fired teachers was a young woman who has taught for 3 years. Her classroom was right across from mine. This was a fine teacher and she has no job prospects. She was actually younger than my daughter, but, in many ways she was like a daughter to me. I took her under my wing and helped her. She really didn't need my help. She did just fine on her own! She was always calm, collected, and poised. She was creative and innovative. I didn't wish to be grade level leader this year and she took over and did an excellent job. I learned ... from HER! I'm really going to miss her. We finally asked her, "What are you going to do?" and she just shook her shoulders. She doesn't know. She bought a house two years ago and I wonder if she will be able to keep it. While she isn't one to show her emotions, we could all tell that the last week was hard for her. She took down her bulletin boards, cleaned out her room, gave me some of her papers, and quietly settled in to the reality that she doesn't have a job next fall. I cried when I gave her a farewell hug. She does have family here in the valley to support her, but I fell sorry for the class next year that won't have Ms. Olguin for a teacher. I want to wish her the best of luck in whatever she does. The teaching profession is losing a fine teacher.