Friday, June 19, 2015

Here comes summer

It's the day teachers look forward to as much as Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries combined: yes, the last day of school is finally here.  Exams have been graded, loose ends have been tied up, the classroom has been dismantled and packed away, and the final countdown begins.  At noon today, the students were dismissed, the faculty attended a brief meeting, and with its conclusion I officially closed out my fourth year as a high school German teacher.  As with every year, I feel like an enormous weight has been lifted, and I go into the summer a new man.

Stevie and I have made it a tradition to drink champagne on the last day of school to celebrate another successful year, so we sat outside in the backyard this afternoon while I reflected on the past nine months of my professional life.

We popped the cork just like always, poured and drank the champagne like always, but I'd be lying if I said this year felt as successful as years' past.  With the birth of my son, my personal life has grown in directions I never imagined, but professionally, it felt like a step backwards. Neale was born a week before school started, and I never quite felt like I got my footing this year.

Mixing a professional life in public education with a quality personal life has always been a challenge, because so much personal time is required to truly grow professionally.  At the close of my fourth year, I'm left wondering just how much I can grow professionally without sacrificing time with my growing family.

These, alas, are thoughts and concerns I will happily relegate to August, because summer is finally here, and Stevie and Neale are all that matter.

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