the last day (and what's in my drawers)

In case you have ever wanted a sneak peak into the world of the last day of the year for teachers…

It was not Friday. When the last of my kids took their finals and fished their books out of their cars or closets or lockers and begged to be taken off the fines list or for that last half a point. That day is bittersweet. So happy to be done, but my heart tugs a little when they leave.
Today was really my last day.
No kids.
And every year it is the same drill.
I’ve been in four different schools and each one of them gives out an end of the year checklist. That is really more like a scavenger hunt to find all the principals and secretaries and hunt down ridiculous things they gave us in August and now want back.
Like our hall pass.
And I assure you, I wouldn’t touch that restroom pass with a 10 foot pole….even if I knew where it was.

So my day began with coffee and me losing and then finding my wallet. Which was it’s own kind of scavenger hunt. I had planned to get to school extra early and get cracking on my list and boxing up my room but, was driving all over town trying to find my money…and hoping not to run out of gas before I got it back. (I got it back barely, but that is another rant for another day)
So instead of getting there extra early and being super productive, I slid in a smidge late to my meeting. But it isn’t the kind of day where anyone notices. They are all smiles and jokes and dressed for summer. And they serve retirement cake for breakfast.

I rush back to my room and get cracking on my checkout list/scavenger hunt and make significant progress before graduation practice. I had 2/3 of the required signatures – even the really tough ones to get. And had spent over an hour of my morning waiting in lines.
But did a few dumb things.
One was that I was so anxious to get signatures I turned in my keys long before I was really ready too. Which meant being locked out of my own room and not having access to anywhere else. Even the bathrooms. Another big mistake of the day, when you break your graduation line up sign, the principal will not find it amusing when you try to reattach it with your chewing gum. And even worse, it was my last piece of gum. Totally wasted.

Lunch out in an actual resturaunt took priority over the rest of my signatures.

Also the lines were extra long by this point and those morning smiles and jokes were long gone. Everyone seemed to want the same thing. Which was to make their 1 o’clock tee time.  I just wanted a nap. And a massage. But figured I wasn’t getting either, so for a change…. I took my sweet time getting out of there. And amazingly the lines are much shorter after lunch.
I got all my signatures.
I boxed up my photos and stapler and put away all the dirty beakers.
My googles were washed. My books all turned in. I had removed the batteries from my remotes and filled my recycling bin. And no one could be more ready for summer than me. I love my students, the people I work with and even could tell you which soda machine actually has diet dr. pepper and won’t steal your money.
But. I miss my couch. And my own kids. And am ready for 8 weeks of not being at work before the sun comes up.  And I’m hoping for a little more time to write. And read. And run. And spending time with my kids rather than other people’s 18 year olds.

And one thing I hate more than standing in line, and turning in books and verifying grades is cleaning out my classroom. But the other day the internet was down. And my students were all at least pretending to work on their review. So I started cleaning out my desk. Which turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought. A list of just a few of the things I found, besides the normal stuff like post its and bandaids:
*Tess’s hospital bill from when she was born. Almost 8 grand. I also never noticed that I was charged 23.87$ for a dipstick. I’m not sure what that is, nor do I remember anyone checking my oil.
*A Barbie doll – which Tess decided to paint all over and cut off it’s hair when I took her to work with me over the weekend to finish cleaning.
*an airhorn. This came in handy when kids fell asleep. Although the teacher next door was less than fond of it.
*a dozen years worth of school pictures. And no, not me grades K-12, but all as a teacher. I get free ones every year and am never sure what to do with. I've tried to give them out as prizes, but I never have any takers. so they just pile up year after year in my bottom drawer.
It has never occured to me NOT to actually go downstairs and have my photo taken like most of my friends.
*gorilla glue. Not sure why I have it. nor why anyone would name glue after a gorilla. I don’t think they are particulary sticky.
*a Polaroid of Owen’s first haircut. Not sure what was doing in my desk drawer, although I’m pretty sure we could say that about everything else on the list too.
*a frog. Vacuum packed. We named him optimus prime and he was great fun without ever being sliced open.
*some fake lottery tickets. These were going to be put in fake Christmas card from the principals. But thought maybe not everyone would think it was as funny as we did.
*37cents. Not enough for a soda.
*a mostly empty bottle of Alleve. It has been a good year. But. not headache free.
* 3 wintergreen life savors that I had obviously forgotten about.
* pictures of my colon. Don’t worry it was clean. And taken by a doctor. I think some of them were of my esophogus too. But they are all kind of pink tunnelish and it is hard to tell which end is which.
*about a dozen chewed on pens. It is a nasty habit, but it does keep kids from stealing my pens.
And all kinds of other ridiculous stuff.
But things I didn’t find….my hall pass or my keys!
Maybe they will turn up next year.


Terry said...

LOVED this post, and most certainly is because I am a teacher as well. I had to move classrooms yet AGAIN, and this time two of us were moving into one room together.
But somehow I did get my signatures all turned in, this was the first time I turned it in. See my trick, is to wait until everyone is gone...I am never done on time. And there is no one to collect your sheet.

Kristin said...

Fantastic post....I think when we were students we forgot that our teachers were real people too. Thanks for the glimpse.