Monday, June 11, 2012

Endings, Beginnings

"In summer, the song sings itself." (William Carlos Williams)

It's the last day of the school year.  One final time, we teachers migrate to our classrooms.  No busyness or bustling today for most of us.  Just clearing the clutter, packing away what's precious, and taking a moment to reflect and smile, if we're lucky.  Another year ended.  Summer with its promise of renewal has finally returned.  An ending.  A beginning. 

Once again, I sit alone in my classroom.  How quiet it is.  How orderly it seems.  Serene and tranquil, like a Zen garden. 

Quite a contrast from the raucous romper room of learning this is during the year when filled with 30+ teenagers!

(Ok.  Maybe neither of these pictures really show what my classroom is like during the year!)

So, as one season of my life ends...and another begins, I thought I'd write some "End of the School Year" haiku to celebrate.   Let's see what comes out.

Don't Disturb
Weary desks whisper
"Shhh...We're ready to hibernate".
School's out - summer's here

Emancipation Proclaimed
Teachers and students cheer,
"No more homework, grades, and bells!"
"Free at last!  It's June!"

A Whispered Wish
A teacher's glad prayer
"Ready to wiggle my toes!"
"Summer, renew me"

June's Chameleons
Blink, and you'll miss it.
Slacks and shoes to shorts, flip flops
Teachers unbuttoned.

Endings and beginnings.  As I get ready to turn off the lights, lock my door, and walk down the hallway for the last time this year, I'm grateful for all the school year brought me:  the hard work, the challenges shared, the laughs, the satisfaction that comes from knowing you've done something worthwhile (even though you may never really know who you've touched - and how). 

But most of all, I'm grateful for the chance to experience an ending, and a beginning.  A chance to learn and a chance to grow.  A chance to discover that which was untapped within me, and to discard that which has become old.

I found this wonderful poem by Guy Finley.  Fits nicely with my thoughts now.

Jump In
Life will fill
Whatever you empty...
And whatever you fill,
Life will empty.

That's the code;
The hidden conduct of contentment
Wrapped in mystery,
Filled with contradiction.

No sense in trying to save yourself
By holding out;
Nothing you have held onto
Has filled the hole, has it?

Then be hollow.
Let the winds of change
Play you instead of punish you.

Give it away!
Use it up!
Offer it to the Wind
And then... jump in!

August will bring its own special endings and beginnings, as well as the 2012-13 year, for it will be my last one as a full time teacher.  Who knows then what "pearls" I'll be discovering?  What Life will be asking me to "use up" or "give away"?  I look forward to all of that, but for now... time to relax... time to jump into Summer!

Saving the pink chair for my wife!
"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."  (Anton Chekov)

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