It didn’t feel like the last day of school.
Maybe because when I left at 4:10, I knew I’d have to be back by 6 to prepare for Baccalaureate. And then be back again tomorrow morning. And back again on Saturday morning for graduation.
So it really wasn’t my last day.
And I wondered for a moment if I am jaded because I wasn’t as emotional today as I’ve been in the past. I mean, I’ve had some years when I said goodbye to classes and I felt like my heart was being ripped out (Hello, Forensics class of 2006, to name one). I didn’t feel that as I said goodbye to my classes today.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my classes–I did! Very much so! But the switch to semester classes means I don’t really forge the same relationships I did when I was teaching full-year English and speech classes. And as my friend Stueve said, “Our job never really ends.”
We are journalism advisers, and he’s right. Yesterday, we met with our new staffs to discuss next year. Editors told students to be ready to hit the ground running on Day One. We told them to clear their calendars for our summer work days. We started thinking about next year before this year was even over. The job never ends.
Today as I drove home, I thought about this year and how I can improve. I already know what I want to do on the first day of my classes next year. The job never ends.
And I’m sure this summer, as I take four classes and a journalism fellowship (because I’m insane), I will have moments that remind me why I teach and I will learn new ways to reach my students. The job never ends.
And it’s not just journalism advisers–in the next month or so as school winds down across the country, teachers will teach summer school, will take classes, will attend conferences, will write papers, will sift through tweets and Pinterest boards, all in the pursuit of becoming better at their craft. The job never ends.
So if you happen to have casual conversations at barbecues or at the pool this summer, and the topic of how awesome a teacher’s life is because she doesn’t have to do anything all summer, just remember, please, I beg you: the job never ends.