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  • Writer's pictureCM Francis

The Day I... Ended the School Year (Last Week)

It's the end of an era.

Well, not quite an era, considering it’s only one year, and not sixty-six years of Ramses II, but still. This era had a whirlwind of ups and down, lefts and rights, and chocolate chip cookie dough… so much cookie dough.

It started with my long-term substitute. I learned how to think quick on my feet, how to talk with a student rather than being everyone’s best friend, and how to speak with an adult about their children.

When the teacher returned, I was set to a different floor, different team, different everything. I was now a one-on-one aide, instead of being a full-fledged teacher. At first, I was miserable. I didn’t think handing the reins to a person who truly deserved it would be that difficult. It was me and a coworker (a good friend of mine, actually) who were assigned to a particular student. While I moped and felt sorry for myself, I let her do all the hard work while I studied for the MTELs.

However, she switched from working at Tewksbury to Burlington, and it was me, little, old, me, with this girl. For the first week on my own, similar to my students at AlphaBest, I just kept yelling at her (if you didn’t know, I yelled at the kids in the kindergarten on my first day. Three kids cried.). The girl apologized profusely, making me look like the bad guy in this Batman comic.

For the entire weekend, I moped, watched Love is Blind (which is trash… but it’s good trash, trash any raccoon would want), and felt sorry for myself. I couldn’t even write! On that Sunday, I went for a walk and cleared my mind. Maybe it was the coldness of the air, or maybe listening to classical soundtrack music, but either way, I was sick and tired of this negative energy I was bringing.

I don’t know how pessimists do it.

That Monday, I was cheerier than freaking Santa Claus,. Throughout the four months the girl and I spent together, I learned more about teaching than I could've hoped for.

I learned to pick your battles.

I learned that saying “I’m sorry” when you truly mean, it goes a long way.

And I learned sometimes, you need to let go of being an adult and embrace your inner child.

We didn’t make it for the whole semester, though. For the last three months, I followed a student to ensure no one bullied him. But I still saw her roaming in the hallway every once in a while.

As the last day of school, buses pulled away, full of students. The teachers threw confetti and waved goodbye. I was feeling everything - relieved for the break, emotional for everything I went through, teary-eyed for I would never see the kids again (a majority, anyway. I'll see some at the gym or Market Basket. I'll walk right by them because they will look so different).

But mostly, I felt joyful and excitement for the next school year to come.

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