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noteA Teacher Notes: "Reflecting on End of Term"

End of term is a bittersweet time for teachers. After all the work, the final tests, the meetings with each student to deliver marks, and the last late assignments, it can feel like a bit of a letdown. Teaching is an intensely personal profession, one that brings me into contact with many different people. Some are at mid-life and searching for something new; others are just starting out, wide eyed and enthusiastic. Together, the students and I make (for better or worse) a classroom and, with some luck, a safe and accepting space to learn.

This past semester has been a treat I must say. There were tears as students relived intensely difficult moments from their term ending memoirs, both as an audience to their peers and as writers trying to convey moments that, to us here in relatively safe Canada, we can only imagine with horror. There was laughter, too, and there were hugs offered and received.

Yesterday, as I met with each student in my classroom to deliver the good (and the not so good) news to them, I was glad to overhear a happy buzz in the hallway. The students there waited for their turns by continuing a conversation that had begun last September. Sometimes, I heard a cheer as a student was recognized by classmates for a mark gained with hard work and determination.

Now, my job is done. For teachers, this marks the leap of faith we must all feel as students depart, perhaps a little wiser, to make something more of their lives. That is, regretfully, where we step back from those we have helped to grow. Like gardeners, we know that we’ve done our best, and now we must begin again. A new season, a new semester is coming along soon, and there is much to do to get ready!

—January 21, 2016

More Notes:

On Encountering Diversity
November 19, 2015

A Note on Pro D
October 27, 2015

My Recycling Origin Story
September 30, 2015

Comparing Cultures: A Tale of Two Cities
September 17, 2015

"Speak and Listen? Yes!"
September 10, 2015

 "Thoughts on an Extraordinary Summer"
—September 3, 2015