This was the last week of school for students-- a very busy time for teachers. I spent everyday but Monday at North Plains. I'm so glad I was able to help my mentor and spend time with the kindergartners. I feel so blessed to have had such a great experience at North Plains. Though my student teaching ended in December, I have gone back frequently to volunteer, substitute, or to be with the students for special events. I enjoy being at the school so much! I feel respected as an individual and as a teacher. It's not just the respect that I get at North Plains, but I truly love the people there (well, 99%). I am happy being around the students and the staff; you can be sure to see a big smile on my face when I'm at the school. I wish every school was this way and I think that they should be this way.
There is just nothing better than being part of a community where you feel like you belong. I think that is what it boils down to at North Plains-- everybody matters there. That is what sets that school apart from so many in the district.
When a community is close-knit is very hard when members "leave" (in a true community- people may not be there physically but they're there in spirit). Sadly, North Plains is losing two teachers. One teacher is retiring and the other is moving away. It's hard to imagine returning to the school in the fall without those two the amazing teachers. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know them.
For some reason today I kept thinking about this quote... seems applicable today:
"What we call the beginning is often the end.
And to make an end is to make a beginning
The end is where we start from.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And to know the place for the first time."
-- T.S. Eliot
It's really hard for me to process the fact that it's the end of the school year. As my mentor and I took down wall decorations, put away books, completed the inventory, sent off report cards, and closed up the room... it all just felt so surreal to me. I remember last August putting it all up and getting ready for orientation. Now, it's the end. But it's an end of a beginning and a beginning to an end (like the quote). I've come full circle.