You can really feel it in the air these days, like an ever present whisper getting slowly louder and louder. It feels like the beat of distant drums driving an army marching on and on, never stopping, never faltering, gathering strength towards the Last Day of School.
I feel it looming on the horizon. And yet, three weeks seems like an eternity in terms of what I actually want to accomplish with my students. We are so close to our Big Goal! I want to do projects, perfect my math centers, and get my focus students to their individual goals.
I don’t want them to leave. After June 12, only 14 instructional days away, my little babies will go off and I will no longer be able to push them to the great heights they have achieved. I won’t be able to see how far G, who in February had already grown almost 2 years in reading, can go. I won’t be able to see if I can get E to control his impulsive behavior. I won’t be able to make sure M gets tested and is put where he can get the help he needs.
It is bittersweet, this end of my first year of teaching. A year ago, when I was standing on the precipice of the TFA way of life, I didn’t know where I would end up or how I was going to get there. Now, I can’t believe I survived. It was the hardest, most challenging, most exhausting, most mentally and emotionally draining year of my life. (I actually think it might have taken 2 or 3 years off my life span.) I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
It is ironic, standing at this point. I know in my heart that I could not have possibly given any more than I gave to my students. And yet, I am still left feeling that I did not do enough. Most of my students made tremendous gains. Some of them only made average gains. The next 3 weeks, with all of its final testing, will be the verdict. We will see, when it gets right down to it, whether or not this TFA-er made significant gains with her students.