The 2005-06 school year: 180 teaching days, three major anti-district rallies, an 11th hour deal to avoid a strike, the completion of my masters degree, the diagnosis of my son with celiac disease, four sections of AP World History, and one out-of-control section of CP World History. It has been quite a year.
I usually have two types of emotions at the end of the school year. Either I am totally done and want out or I am sad because I am so comfortable with my classes, I don’t want to start over. This year is different; I’m satisfied with the end of the school. The time is right for it to be over.
I have no more looming graduate classes (as much as I loved the program, it added a certain amount of stress to my life). Teaching AP World History was an incredible challenge and I look forward to going through it again. Building upon what I started and making it even better. Next year, I will teach more then one section of college prep, which will make my investment in that class greater. That class felt very stale to me this year, I will be doing some major reinventing next year.
My students this year were great. They challenged me. I worked harder for this class, because I felt I owed it to them. I only wish I could have done more. The dynamic in each of the AP classes brought out the best in me and, I think, them. I won’t say I was burnt out, but I am refreshed.
When I said my parting words to them on Wednesday and Thursday, I was not emotional. We were done. We had a good run. But it is time for them to move on. To other AP classes, other challenges. I told them thank you, they returned the gesture. In two years, I will gladly shake their hands or give them a hug as they graduate and go on to do something else.