Thoughts, links & ideas from the 2008 National Teacher of the Year

Each time I've taken off in a plane since May (which is a lot), I've been writing in my journal, then adding these journal entries on this blog.

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(Note: the blue posted dates are actually the dates I wrote the journal entries, not when I posted them online.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's summer. Yay.

Redmond, OR

Oops.  I accidentally declared that I had dangerous weapons in my carry-on while checking in this morning at the self-service kiosk.  Luckily, the agent caught it (with a smile) and didn't report me for joking about my hands being deadly weapons.  (Plus, my hands weren't technically in my carry-on.)

So today I'm down to only one job!  Finally.  The school year wrapped up on Thursday, which was a good day.  It's great how kids and teachers all realize how much we care about each other.  Lots of smiles, hugs, tears, laughs, anxiety.  Many of my kids aren't really looking forward to summer.  It often means less friends, more boredom, no experiential input other than tv and video games.  Setbacks to social, emotional and academic life for most kids.  It's tough.

The Oregon Teacher of the Year from a couple of years ago, Steve Wyborney, has seen the reversion that his students go through each summer, and it doing something about it.  He's starting a summer program for students in his small town.  It's more than just babysitting, it's social, emotional and academic.  Kids will appreciate that.

Danielle Ramos, who used to teach next door to me, ran into one of my students on Friday.  She asked if he was excited about summer.  "Kinda, I guess," Dakota replied.  This is a little dude that can't sit still at school, is brimming with ideas, and is basically like a living cartoon character.  I remember that Dakota was the last student to leave the classroom on Thursday.  He lingered, strangely morose.  He shook my hand, then gave me a big hug, then slowly walked out into summer.

I guess these hands really are deadly weapons.

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