25 June 2007

The Unbirthday

For most of my life, I didn't really celebrate a birthday. Like most adoptees I know, birthdays are meaningless events. If you never know anyone who had to do anything with your actual birth---and there is no story to go with it---there's not much point in having a birthday. One is "hatched" more than born. My Sweetie asked me once if I did have a favourite day of the year instead of a birthday. I didn't have to think twice: the last day of school. There is nothing in the world like driving away from work on that final day and feeling like all of summer is stretched out at your feet. This is not to say that I don't enjoy my work or that I can't stand classroom life so much that I can't wait to get away. I wouldn't have made it in the business for 16 years if that had been the case. There's just a sense of accomplishment that comes with this last day. My unbirthday has arrived.

This day also held some significance for me in that it was my first day with the staff I'll be supporting next year. I had a wonderful time with them this morning and felt incredibly welcome. Several people cheered and more than one remarked that they had hoped it would be me who would be assigned to coach them. Teachers wanted me to see their classrooms, samples of student work, and talk about how much time I could spend with them next year. It really doesn't get much better than that. I left the building at lunch time with a big smile on my face. It is the way that one wants to leave a school year.


Dr Pezz said...

With which level(s) do you primarily work? Do you have a preference?

The Science Goddess said...

It really varies. The "Science Goddess" portion of my job is k-12 and I am elementary heavy for that, with the greatest needs at the intermediate grade levels (3 - 6). My coaching position will be at a grades 7 - 9 school.

I find that in working with teachers, I really don't have a preference at to grade levels. They all have some attributes and quirks which make them fun. (And I certainly don't like to be bored. :) )

As far as students go, I believe that grade 10 kids are my favourite; but, I am very much looking forward to being in a junior high again.

Hugh O'Donnell said...

I hope I'm around to see your first blog after retirement, SG. Talk about delirious ambivalence...You can keep your oars in the water if you want to, but nobody tells you what to do! :)

The Science Goddess said...

LOL What can I say? I like to learn and enjoy being around schools. It's hard to pick a favourite. :)

The retirement options in WA are so pathetic that I'll be working for a good long while. We joke in my office that due to the extended working life for teachers that facilities are going to have to have much wider hallways for all of the walkers and the bathrooms are going to need far more handicapped stalls. I heard someone today refer to it as the "teach 'til you're dead" plan.

Dr Pezz said...

I, too, favor working with the Sophomores. While the curriculum does appeal to me quite a bit in my English courses, the leaps in achievement are an absolute joy to observe. They just develop so much.

The Science Goddess said...

I just enjoy all the "rites of passage" for sophomores---drivers' licenses...Julius Caesar...sweet 16's...and so on. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and very few have acquired that jaded veneer so many seniors have.