It Finally Happened

Summer, that is.  After several year-end events like Poetry Cafe,


and Beach Day,


it was finally the LAST DAY.

We have a lovely tradition for our second graders on the LAST DAY.  Because they are moving to the intermediate school, they are given a proper goodbye via a Clap Off.  Years ago, our now-retired art teacher (miss you, EK!) told us of a tradition that they had in her children’s school district.  Everyone lines the hallways and claps as the entire second grade, wearing their class t shirts, walks past.  Each year it grew, and now parents join us, we carry clappers and then convene outside for some photo ops.


And then, at the end of the LAST DAY, second grade reconvenes and signs one another’s beach balls and says their goodbyes.


And then the bell rings, they board the bus and every staff member waves them off.

Another school year over.  And teachers are left with a myriad of emotions (or is it just me?)  Exhilaration.  Pride.  Exhaustion.  Sadness.  Disbelief.  Anticipation.

And thus begins another summer.  Never an easy time for me (see last year’s post on my complicated relationship with this season).   It looms large and long, filled with days of rest and relaxation, of reflection and renewal.  This year, those 4 Rs are more than necessary, but one R always presents a challenge.  Relaxation.

What can I say?  I like to be busy.  And I have just enough planned to fill that requirement, including tutoring, writing curriculum and running a week-long camp, a celebration of all things Laura Ingalls Wilder.


And so, on this first full day of summer 2014, I plan to do quite a bit, not the least of it is visit the hair salon!

Tomorrow, I’ll relax.  At least, that’s the plan.


Worth It

Last year’s post-Sandy Hook beach field trip blog entry was called “Survival by the Sea.”  This year, I not only survived but enjoyed it thoroughly.  We left school in a downpour and arrived to overcast but dry weather.  Not too cold, and most importantly, not too hot.  Didn’t stop me from getting the obligatory sunburn though.  



Seining, shell collecting, impressing the field guide with our knowledge of bi and univalves – priceless.  



Even those blue circles can’t hide the expressions on these guys.  And they reflect the feelings of everyone who embarked on this seaside adventure.  Teacher too.  Teacher especially.

Sidenote:  A nearly-two hour bus ride requires entertainment, and “Finding Nemo” was the perfect flick.  It took us door to door, and just as we arrived at the beach, “Beyond the Sea” played over the ending credits.  Because the second grade music concert had an under the sea theme, they performed this song back in May.  And they performed it again, gestures and all, right there on the bus.  Because what’s a school field trip without singing?  

History Repeats Itself

Last year I blogged about THE BEACH.  Specifically, our annual second grade field trip to Sandy Hook.  Last year was my first time experiencing it as a teacher.  And in many ways it is the mother of all field trips – an hour plus ride on a bus, every kid putting on waders and taking a turn seining in the OCEAN, running on the sandy beaches collecting shells.  Returning home, tired, sunburned and sandy.  With each student accounted for.  Last year I did it.  Didn’t really want to.  Glad I did.  


And now I have to do it again.  And just like last year, I will survive the inherent stress that comes with any field trip.  I will survive the sunburn – which I will get no matter how much sunscreen I use.  I will not lose any students.  And it will be a memorable experience for all.   

And I’ll have a whole year before I have to do it again.


If you’re not willing to get lost in the past, then I suggest you don’t visit any one of those “Do You Remember….” sites out there.  I just lost over thirty minutes to “Do You Remember the 60s, 70s, 80s” but discovered the answer to that age-old question.  Why do we call them MAGIC markers?   Truth be told, I haven’t called them magic markers in a long time.  Years of referring to them as such, then facing questions like, “Why are these magic?” has taught me that it’s just not worth it.  Kids today (did I just write that?) have always had markers….most likely Crayola and Sharpie, and have no idea that when they first arrived on the scene, they were indeed magic.

But  many people of a certain generation STILL call them magic markers.  And today I was vindicated, because for years I’ve been saying that there was a brand called Magic Marker Liquid Crayons.  Few believed me.


Ha!  I’m not so crazy now, am I?  Well, at least not about markers.  I recall these so vividly.  But what I wasn’t prepared for was the long-forgotten-but-now-that-I see-them-I-remember-how-much-I-loved-them BIC BANANAS.


Oh,  how carefully I would replace them in the yellow pouch after using them, gently folding down the flap and tucking it in.  I think I even stored them in rainbow order, leaving brown and black for the end.  But where did I put the pink?  Some mysteries will never be solved.

Today, I guess kids will have Twistables and metallic markers (both popular choices in my classroom) to sigh wistfully over.  But will they really be magic?