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Entry date: 6-6-2022 - The beginning of the end - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


Today starts the last week of the school year. If last week was any indication of where my students are at, I can safely say that we are all ready to say farewell.


Outside of Covid being no joke, even in the mild stage (and I’ll talk about this more in a bit), I really regret missing two days last week. I’m realizing how much I’m going to miss these little a-holes. I would have liked to have had those two days to make sure we finished our academic calendar a bit stronger.


Instead, they got two days of fun and chilling out with a couple of very nice subs. One taught them how to make paper hats and boats. Yay! That person also decided to help themselves to some of the candy I have on hand for bribes. Also, yay!


So, as we look toward this week, grades are in, they have mentally checked out, and it’s just fun for us. If you’ve ever tried to wrangle 25 or so eight-year-old kids at a time, even having fun with them is hard work. The end of the year is really showing which pairs of students really don’t like each other. We’ve gotten to the point where I have had to tell several kids to just act like the one they don’t like has a terrible disease and you don’t want to catch it.


I’m just hoping they don’t realize in the next couple of days that I am not grading anything anymore. That could be trouble. Even last week at the end of the week, a couple of them seemed to catch on that I was just making them work for nothing.


They are also starting to realize that my threats about being super bossy all this week because I will miss bossing them around are hollow. Truth be told, I am not going to miss bossing them around. I am tired of bossing them around. Next year when I am back teaching online, if students need a little bossing, it will be way different and much easier.


Can you tell I’m looking forward to it?


I have enjoyed this experience very much and grown by leaps and bounds as a teacher but getting to share my love of music with students next year is something I cannot pass up. I will check up on my students from this year, though, when I can. If anything, just to see how they are doing academically.


After this week, I won’t have to say things like:


“That was unnecessary.”


“Why did you do that?”


“Why are you not listening?”


“Voices off, please.”


“What part of ‘Voices off’ do you not understand?”


“I know you have heard me say this before, but … “


“You are probably getting sick of hearing this, but … “


“This is not art class. Art is on Friday mornings.”


“This is not recess.”


“We don’t talk in line.”


“Be a problem solver.”


I could go on here, but I’m making myself sick. If my classroom was a sitcom, any one of those statements could be a great catch phrase. I hope the late, great Howard Hesseman would play me. I know I’m a bit late on this, but it would be such an honor to have the man who played Dr. Johnny Fever play you in a TV version of your life. He would know how to handle these little buffoons. Can’t you just here him semi-sneering, sarcastically asking, “What part of ‘voices off’ do you not understand, Deonna?”


Deonna is probably responsible for the bulk of my additional gray hairs this year. She’s the one who was fed donuts every morning until I politely asked her mom to stop. Deonna has no self-control and probably won’t ever until she realizes that other people are not responding the way she wants them to respond. Thankfully she’s smart enough to eventually figure it out.


I will definitely not miss dealing with a few of my parents. This last week or so has been especially interesting as a few of my students have clearly stopped showing up. No call, no message, no withdrawing in the proper sense. Just ghosting the school.


Who does that? Why is that okay?


Apparently, it is, though. When it comes time to distribute report cards, a few of them will just end up in the garbage, I guess. It sucks for the kid. They don’t get to have any closure with their friends and learn a very terrible lesson about how to properly leave relationships. It sets them up for future opportunities to ghost people in both comfortable and uncomfortable situations.


It happened a few times this year, actually. I had two students just stop showing up and I never heard from the parent again, even though I left messages. The school eventually drops them but how hard is it to fill out a few forms? The kids left belongings in the classroom, too, that I eventually had to just throw away. Well, I did give some of the good stuff to other students who don’t have much, so some good came from it.


Another good thing is that I won’t have to tell a child what time it is anymore. Even though there is a clock on the wall and has been all year, they just don’t know. They refuse to learn how to use a clock. It’s terrible. I get it, in a way, because clocks with hands (the gall of them) are basically obsolete, but still. Do they not understand the power of nostalgia?


Roman numerals are passé, too. For about a day or two I tried to teach my kids about Roman numerals, but they acted as if I was trying to give them some sort of vaccination with a rusty needle. It’s probably me, though, who is old fashioned. I’m outdated. I need to get with the new way of educating young people.


Indoctrinating them. That’s the ticket.


See you tomorrow.



The walls are almost bare. A week ago you would have seen children's art, a Kandinsky print, and desks covered with, well, crap.

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thegoodrick
thegoodrick
08 jun 2022

I really enjoy reading your posts before school. This one really hit home, especially with, “ What part of ‘voices off’ do you not understand. I find myself saying this at least 10 times daily with these little monsters.


thank you for sharing and baring. Takes a lot out of you.


Peace Tom!

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