For as long as I can remember, I have loved the ending to the school year. My grandmother was guidance counselor for over thirty years. I remember spending many summers at Forest Heights and Lowell Elementary school. My mom was at Steele Creek Elementary in South Charlotte. While I tried my best to avoid this whole being an educator for life thing, I really do love being in a school setting. Previously, the build up to the last day of school has been akin to a volcano about to erupt. Kids and teachers are being naughty because they just need a break after 10 months of hard work.
In my previous school setting, the last days of school meant academic awards, athletic banquets, perfect attendance medals, meet next year’s teachers, cramming out master schedules, open house for enrollment, parent volunteer breakfast, talent shows, PRIDE days, field trips, class parties, promotions and graduations, yearbook signing, cards, pictures and gifts. The list could go on forever about how we celebrated the end of the school year.
However, working internationally in a different context this last school year really has flipped my educational experience expectations (that’s a mouthful) upside down. The one thing I remember from my interview was that flexibility was key to make it internationally. I will say I have adjusted nicely, but there are still things that are very hard for me to accept……. Like no real official ending to the school year.
It is currently month of Ramadan. It started around May 6th. Because I teach PE, our curriculum ended that day to facilitate rest for the students. In the long run, they would not probably be able to perform while fasting. During this time, the students could rest, play table tennis, football or shoot hoops, or work on other assignments as they prepared for finals. The first week, they were slightly engaged in the activities, but as the days went on the engagement and attendance dropped. All curriculum was completed on May 16th and this in when it really started to look like a ghost town around the school.
There just seemed to be no official ending to the school year with the kids after pouring into them for 10 months. I believe that all of the activities I listed above create school culture and climate. Without them, then what are you really doing? There was no ending. It just stopped. This is my new normal and now I know what to expect next year.
On a side note, the last day of school was scheduled for June 4th. However, we received an email yesterday saying today was the last day of school due to the Eid holiday.
In the comments section, if you are an educator, I would love to hear about the neat activities that your school does to bring the year to a close in style.
Yours in Education,