And Then... The End

Ready for Field Day!

The further into May we've gotten, the more "lasts" I've experienced at DCE. It is bittersweet. This school is the only place I've ever taught, my home away from home, my family. I'm swiftly realizing that every school is different, and so this may be the last time I ever experience these things again. Our last DCE field day, the last DCE fifth grade walk, the last day of kindergarten for my baby. And as pumped as I was to get my first graders out the door and onto summer, I tried to remember that this moment will never come again.

Ah, Field Day. I have a love/hate relationship with field day. Love - the awesome music blaring across the field, watching my kiddos tackle each station, cracking up at their lack of coordination, getting to take a break from the rigor and just enjoy watching kids being kids. This year had a Star Wars theme, so some of the stations were a lightsaber battle (using pool noodle lightsabers) and a Storm Trooper relay (the kids wore these GIANT boots to race back and forth - hilarious). Hate - the heat, the sun, the fact that it takes forever (and the whining starts creeping in around hour two), the way the classroom smells when we return. But this field day was extra special because I got to sneak away from my class for a few minutes and visit Violet.

Lunch Date! (I regularly dress like a ladybug... it impresses the kids.)
I also got a chance to sneak away and have lunch with Violet. I told Matt if he ever wanted to eat lunch at school with V, the next-to-last day of school was pretty much his last opportunity. So he showed up, we ate in the courtyard, and then these two rascals hatched a plot to skip out the rest of the day and hike to the top of Sawnee Mountain.

Mountain mastered! When I asked what was at the top, Violet said "a really big view".

Our last DCE Wild Animal Dance Party

First grade also celebrated our end of the year party. We wrap up our curriculum with our animal unit, so recently we've been banding together for a grade level Wild Animal Dance Party in the gym where all the kids (and teachers) dress like their favorite animal and we "dance" for half and hour before splitting up back to our rooms for food and the end of the year slideshow. This year's dancing was more like loud milling about the room and the world's longest conga line snaking around (I'm sure the parents were like... "we took off work for this?") Then of course I teared up during the slideshow when I told parents how special this class has been to me. Truly, despite the craziness, these kids have been the most loving and generous kids I have ever taught. I've learned so much watching them and sharing the room with my awesome special ed co-teachers. It's been a long, hard, hilarious, blessed year.

For my support teachers... we're all going somewhere new next year, but we will "be truly glad, there is wonderful joy ahead". I'm claiming that promise for next year!

Last Day of K!
Then suddenly it was the last day of school! Just look how much my baby has grown! I still remember the first day, forcing her to walk down the hallway to her classroom, watching her struggle to hold it together. Now she's out of my room before I can give her a hug, nary a backwards glance. Sigh. They grow so fast (said every mother ever).

So sad to leave the incomparable Ms. Howington.
And then I put the kids of the bus for the last time and it was over! I mean, I still have two more days of post-planning, and entire classroom's worth of boxes to move into my new school, and plenty more teacher goodbye's to say, but it's pretty much over. I came home Friday feeling so light... I didn't realize (okay, I did realize) how much weight I've been carrying this entire month. May is the worst. Every day there were 47 things to remember (specials cancelled, new lunch time, bring gifts, bring cooler, field day clothes, grades due, report cards due, pack this, don't pack that yet) that it was a relief to come home and not have anything left to remember. The to-do list was done. So Matt made me a Moscow Mule in my new cups to celebrate. And then, you guys, I passed out in my bed. Peace out, May, you have been conquered. Bring on summer.

Hello Summer

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