Wednesday, June 23, 2010

school's out for summer!

the official last day of school with students: june 4th.
the actual last day of school with students: may 30 (yes, you're reading that right. the whole 'school calendar' thing doesn't mean much around here.)
the last day of school for teachers: july 8th.

in a way, school has been out for 3 weeks now. it's been nice: classes are no longer in session, the work day is shortened a bit, i'm not taking heaps of books and papers home with me each night, and my stress levels seem to be reaching normal again. (whatever that is?)

even though i'm more than ready to close the door on this school year, i'd say i'm doing so in pretty high spirits.

we've had some pretty good times:

. . . observing how plants grow and change;

1. Shahad's bean was a late bloomer. 2. Shaqra can't believe it--her plant is the tallest!

. . . learning about butterflies and reading Eric Carle books;

Taif shows me her play-doh model of the life cycle of a butterfly while she 'reads' The Hungry Caterpillar.

. . . making life-size self-portraits and singing "Head and Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" about 9 gazillion times;

1. Fatima couldn't stop giggling when asked to stand next to her self-portrait. 2. Tracing one another
3. Al Hanoof and her self-portrait share the same exact smile. 4. Alyazi and Hamda--Best Buds

. . . comparing and contrasting living and non living things;

This little firecracker, Khawla, literally bounces around school. Her enthusiasm is hard to contain. In this picture, she's showing that the fake flower and the goldfish crackers are not living while the lily and Dora and Diego (the fish) are living.

. . . trying new math stations;

1. counting and sorting 2. Moneera and Haya make new shapes
3. Shaikha shows she understands conservation of number 4. Noora works on patterns

. . . sharing responsibility for our classroom;

1. Shamsa, board eraser 2. Hamda, attendance helper 3. Shama, paper passer

. . . and mostly trying not to miss a single moment of watching these little people blossom.

it's been an intensely challenging year. {duh.} however, despite all of the frustrations and setbacks, my students have been the silver lining. i'm proud of all that they've accomplished--especially with the less-than-ideal circumstances at our school. i'm thankful for the ways they've helped me become a better teacher. i'm humbled by their graciousness and their forgiveness when i've been grumpy and when i've made mistakes. i'm so privileged to have been the recipient of their hugs and beautiful smiles.

i'm one -- very lucky -- teacher.

p.s. i apologize for the blurry faces, but modesty must prevail. i did try to leave their smiles as much as possible. i really wish you could meet them--they're so darn cute!


MissAnna said...

You survived the school year! Congrats! I'm sure you're looking forward to your trip home just a little bit :-)

Whitney said...

Molly, you ROCK! I'm so glad you survived and thrived.......and I hope you enjoy your trip home. I'm sure it will be a much deserved break. Just make sure you run your feet through freshly cut grass - you know, it's the little things that make life so great!