June 8, 2009

Is It Ever Over?

I finished my check out list and turned in my keys this morning. The year is officially over for me.

Teachers don't think of years in terms of January-December. Our year begin in August when we report back to work and great a new batch of students, and then it ends in May or June when the students leave.

Or is this just in my mind?

A few of my colleagues commented how they were already so done with the year before it was even over. Yes, part of it was exhaustion, but part of it was simply preparing for the end of another cycle of an academic year. They--and I--had started reflecting on the year and making preliminary plans for the next year while ideas were still fresh.

Today is the end of a year.

And tomorrow?

The beginning of the next year.

In the next few weeks I have 27 hours of paid professional development, where my colleagues and I will meet with each other, some leading the sessions, to plan for next year.

I have been looking forward to the this week so I could finally rest up and mend my mind, so a few weeks ago when administrators and coordinators starting talking about meeting after the year ended to begin work for next year, I nearly slithered off my chair in complete exhaustion. We have these opportunities nearly every year, but I thought for sure that because of the prevalent money problems in our state and district, we would not have it this year. Our school has been hit so hard by state and federal budget cuts that we pretty much assume there's no money for anything. As it turns out, there is specifically allocated Title 1 funding for professional development that had not been use during the year. No sense in letting any of it go to waste!

No, I'm not required to attend the professional development, but it is paid, and there are some sessions that I feel I need to attend to fill in some of the gaps in my instruction. There will also be time to collaborate with my colleagues, and as we all know, those opportunities are hard to find during the year--even though we do have allocated time for collaboration each month. It's never enough. I'll be pumping up my knowledge on project-based learning, assessment, and technology in the next few weeks.

So, ready or not, tomorrow I unofficially begin the the 09-10 school year.

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