With the end of the year quickly approaching, I'm sure we are all thinking of resolutions and how to make 2012 better than 2011. For teachers, this happens at the end of a school year. We dream of more well-behaved children, more productive time in class, bulletin boards, writing ideas, better math curriculum, and many oh-so-wonderful projects to get planned for the next school year. Very often, those hopes and dreams end up just like our New Year's Resolutions...forgotten and given up on once reality hits us back down to earth. Students are trying to fit in all the naughtiness that they can because they know there is nothing that their current teacher can do about it since they will soon be moving on to a new boss at school very soon.
This particular scenario was happening on my last day of school the first year I was a teacher. I was feeling happy that I had survived my first year, only losing half my hair instead of all of it! I was feeling a bit sad to let my first year kiddos go - they were mine and to think of giving them to another teacher was a bit heartbreaking. (yes - teachers DO love your children - even the stinkers!) All the desks in my classroom were pushed to the sides, all the art was off the walls, children were armed with their backpacks and lunch boxes, and we were all impatiently waiting for the bell of summer to ring. One little boy, who had a lot of energy and didn't know how to contain it, was rambunciously crawling under all the desks that were pushed against the wall. He knew he shouldn't be doing this - not only had I told the students 10 times that day not to do it, but I'd told them at least a hundred times during the school year that we don't crawl around under desks. Finally, I said, "Billy, you need to get out from under the desks. You know this is against the rules. (At this point I'm trying to think of some type of consequence, but having difficulty as there is only 1.863 minutes left of the school year.) So I continue, "You are not making a good choice. I hope that next time you can make a better choice." (lightweight - I know) A few seconds later I hear him mutter to himself. "Wait - There's not going to be a next time!" And proceeds to continue crawling under desks. Lovely. Good thing I was saved by the bell because once it rang little Billy was outta there and moving onto bigger and better things.
So - to all of you who are ready for 2012...live up 2011 as much as possible because time is dwindling! Eat what you want, don't exercise, be lazy, watch a lot of trashy TV, don't clean your house, spend as much money as you feel like, and crawl under those desks like a crazy person because very shortly our goals are going to get in the way of our fun again.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!