Slice of Life Tuesday: Just keeping it real, in Room 202

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Four weeks to go, but my kids are already in the summer mindset.  This Monday morning’s  conversation went like this:

Are we doing anything anymore?”

“Do we have to do anything anymore?”

Homework? But we’re kinda done already, right?!”

“How come we have another project to do? Aren’t we done already?!”

“Oh, no! I thought I didn’t have to bring anything, ’cause we’re done already?”

All of which make me say: “Really? Who exactly said that we were done already? And, what exactly do you think we should be up to for the next four weeks?”

We are having separate conversations really…because I am having a fit that there are only four weeks to go and I feel as though I have so much left to do, and my kids are done with school and would like nothing more than lazy days ahead with nothing to do.

So, when this Monday morning arrived and I began it like every other Monday (here’s what’s in store for this learning week, here’s what we will accomplish, and here’s the homework plan), I was greeted with stone cold silence. Disbelief. Disappointment.  Resignation.  And, facing all of that, I began to feel some of the same as well.

Disbelief. Why is it all of a sudden such an imposition to think of continuing with our school week just as we always have?

Disappointment. Why does the thought of continuing with our routines seem almost too much to bear?

Resignation. Whatever happened to all our enthusiasm? Our steadfast sense of purpose?  The famous work ethic we’ve cultivated in Room 202?

The short answer? Thoughts and dreams of this:


We looked into each others’ eyes, this Monday morning, and here’s what they seemed to be saying:

“So, okay, we get it. We have stuff to do, and we will give it our best shot…just like we always do.  But it’s been a really long school year, and (no offense) we’re  tired.  So please plan some cool stuff, please remember we’re just kids…and we, like, really need a break.”

And here’s what I was saying back:

“So, okay, I get it.  We have stuff to do, and I will give it my best shot…just like I always do.  It’s been a really long school  year, and (no offense, either) I’m tired, too.  I will plan cool stuff, because I remember that you’re just kids…and I, like, really need a break, too.”

Just keeping it real, in Room 202.


21 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Just keeping it real, in Room 202

  1. Those last few weeks of school can be the hardest can’t they? We finish for our summer break just before Christmas and I try not to put the decorations up in the classroom and get the Christmas crafts out until almost the last week. Once they are up, its game over!! Have fun in the last few weeks, sounds like you are all on the same page!

  2. Tara, After this past winter, once the mercury reached 80 in New Jersey, I am sure there was an epidemic in the schools of “I want summer vacation now!”. I am sure your students and you will enjoy your last few weeks together and make them profitable. You have incredible insight into their minds and your mind.

  3. I love the way you used the same sentence structure and wording for your perspective and that of your students. You will rise to the challenge of these last weeks and end strong, I am sure.

  4. Tara, this made me laugh! How true! I love how you wrote this a in dialogue! I think that we can all relate to conversations just like this one!

  5. This was so fun to read because we’ve all experienced these exact same thoughts. Very creative structure! Hang in there, you will send these kids off in a great way!

  6. We have 11 days & so,so much to put into that basket! Love your final paragraphs-what a nice teacher you are! And love “stone cold silence”. Eek, they wonder, how can this be? We have big projects going for an open house next week-Tell your kids it’s like the Energizer Bunny-still going…

  7. Oh I feel your pain. You speak words so many teachers and kids feel this time of year. The sun is shining, the tests are over. It’s like a chemical thing. They can’t help it! That’s what they do they are kids, but it does break your heart a bit. Nothing personal they think, but we say hold on! Good for you pulling them together for one last round of learning (and fun) i’m sure they’ll enjoy, once they stop pouting!

  8. Four weeks left. I am curious to see what cool things the kids will come up for the last stretch of the school year. I like how you structured this slice in two voices.

  9. The last month of school was always a challenge. Once PSSAs were over students think so is the school year. As the weather turns warmer thoughts are anywhere but school. Good luck with your last four weeks.

  10. Just when I think you are just too awesome and I could never be like you, you post something like this post. Keeping it real. I don’t know why, but the end this year came too quickly for me. I was not ready, am not ready. This is our last week. I do not pull my students any more. Every classroom looks bare. The teachers are all working on their end of the year papers and playing movies. I am sad. I long for the newness of the new year, the fresh bulletin board paper, the new supplies. (This comment is turning toward waxing poetic.) I wish I had more time. But, all that said, I have my stack of books to read and am ready for the relaxing days ahead. Happy Summer!

    • Margaret – it always comes too quickly, we are always sad at year’s end, and we also long for the new year even as we close the old. That’s all part of loving what we do. I am looking forward to hearing about your summer reading, to perhaps sharing new ideas for the new school year with you…and for those relaxing days, which are a month away as of yet for me! PS. Thanks for the kind words – which are exactly what I would say about YOU!

  11. You sure got it down right! That last month of school is quite a challenge. I like how you had the same thoughts as the kids….because that is so true. Plus the feeling of still having so much! Take a deep breath and these four weeks will fly by.

  12. I hate to say this but I have three days left! Our state testing is the first week of May and it does seem like our kids (and teacher) are done then! Hang in there! As Linda said, Happy Summer – almost!

  13. I always have these mixed emotions this time of year. Like the kids, I want the end to come; however, they are just starting to take off as learners….and I don’t want to stop. The state testing seems to suggest the end is nearer than it really is in NYS…and perhaps that is true for you, our neighbor!

    • Yeah – that testing in May gives my kids a sense of false ending. So, it’s a rude awakening to realize we have another month to go! Sigh. I miss them already…..

  14. I had a student comment this past week that we only had a week and a half left! I promptly reminded him that we had five weeks of school left and that we would be working for five weeks (really, only four). This is the time of year that I long for a spell of rainy weather, but we’re having day after day of gorgeous sunshine. I love the way you’re keeping it real in 202!

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