During last Friday’s eighth-grade promotion ceremony at Inspired Teaching Demonstration School, I watched students, teachers, families, and friends celebrate our 8th-graders and I couldn’t help but think about what this time of year means. The last few weeks and days of school are filled with projects, conferences, celebrations, and more. Students, teachers, and families are simultaneously emotional and exhausted. As a result, the amazingness of what just happened AND what is to come can easily get lost if we view this time of year simply as “the end.”
I remember the “end” of my first year of teaching well. It came both too quickly and too slowly. While there were many emotions felt during that those final days together, the strongest was that of excitement - excitement for what was yet to come. After watching my class explore the world and wonderings of first grade, I found myself thinking about what 2nd grade (and beyond) would have in store. And once again as this year wraps up, I find myself thinking about all of our students and feel excited about the achievements, perseverance, successes, and the possibilities still to come. Students have spent time this year falling in love with new books, applying math to everyday lives, asking questions that start with ‘why’ and ‘how’, all while learning more about themselves, their classmates, and the multiple communities in which they belong.
The year was filled with a tremendous amount of learning and growing, by all members of our school community. And while I personally want to jump right into next year just as we wrap-up our celebrations of this year, I recognize the importance of slowing down to reflect. Being reflective in one’s practice is the true catalyst of growth. Without reflection, growth often takes a back seat to the status quo. So as this school year comes to a close, I encourage all of us to take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year, and to wonder and dream about what comes next.. Take time to celebrate, exhale and remember that every end is a new beginning.
Enjoy summer and I look forward to seeing everyone at the start of our next adventure as a school community: August 26, 2019.