On Friday, I spoke to the 2011 San Antonio corps on a panel along with three other 2010 CMs. We were told to “tell the story of your first year of teaching. Go into detail about any challenges and how those challenges made you feel.” While I definitely meant to be frank and honest, I didn’t intend to launch into the epic and gory saga I did, which probably lasted a good fifteen minutes.
I’m so proud of my program team for asking this question (though the “keep it under five minutes, please” turned out to be a bit impossible). Because of the way the prompt was phrased, I feel like I said a good part of what I wish was said to me at induction. I know that I’ve at least put mental health on the table.
Now, they’re beginning, just finishing up day ONE of Institute as I head into my LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.
My ending couldn’t be more different from the start of institute. Institute is fireworks and whirlwinds and a lot to digest—but this school year just … petered out, ran out of gas, and sloooowwwwly rolled to a stop. Day one of Institute has this intoxicating aroma of unfulfilled potential, of goals and resolve, of doors waiting to be opened—day Last of school smells like something stale that you’ve already had too much of.
I promise I couldn’t be more thankful that I’m even still here to reflect on my first year. But the excitement and positivity of this last semester, when I take stock of the year in its entirety, gets more than a little tainted with ick from first semester. I have a lot of thinking to do before I decide how to look at the year as a whole, or whether looking at it as a whole is even constructive—but the sad truth is, my feelings about my last day are much more “let’s just get this over with” than I thought they’d be.