Monday, June 16, 2014

Last Day of School (by Scott)

{my school photos through the years. Devon put this together, and she thought it would be cute to post it...(not me)}
Hi Everyone, 

I’m honored Devon asked me to guest post today. I don’t really get a chance to write as a PE Teacher all that much, however, lately I feel like I have been doing it a lot. I have had to write tons of lesson plans, instructions, emails, directions, thank you notes, and speeches. I haven’t really thought about it too much, chalked it up as just being a normal part of work, and grinded it all out. It wasn’t until I sat down on the yoga ball at the computer desk to write this on the first true day of summer vacation, that I realized what all this writing actually meant. 


I have always enjoyed writing, I guess it’s a cool way to communicate your thoughts and feelings, and it is a good release for things that may be on your mind. Somehow, I tend to feel better, or more organized, or that those nagging to do items are more tangible when I write them down. These last few months, my writing has seemed like just part of a job. However, upon further introspection, I am realizing that writing is one of the few ways to keep my hard work and dedication to my students alive. That may be a bit dramatic, but the real reason I felt compelled to take the time to write out specific instructions for the Halloween Parade, and Field Day, and detailed rules to Wall Ball, and Capture the Flag, and outlined Play-structure Behavior and Expectations, is because I tried my best to instill values of sportsmanship and fair play in all of the amazing students I was fortunate enough to know, and I want the transition to the new coach to be as smooth as possible, for the kids’ sake. Writing it all down helped me feel comfortable to leave my job in someone else's care as I will not be returning to teaching in the fall. Writing helped me feel I will be able communicate, in a way, with the kids even after I leave. I know that things will be different, and that is good.

Change is a real thing. It happens a lot. Some changes have more of an impact than others, and I feel this is one of those changes. Moving on from 6 years as a teacher is a big change, albeit welcome. I am so excited for the new adventure, the delight of learning new things, and the prospect of providing for my family in the future. I know I will miss teaching, but I hope the truest, most basic understanding of teaching and learning will stay with me forever. It is rewarding to see someone experience something new and succeed for the first time under your instruction and I hope everyone has the opportunity to teach anything to anyone. 


In writing this down today, I have come to realize things I would have never consciously recognized before.  The past two months have been filled with anticipation, stress, reflection, anxiety, pride, fulfillment, happiness, sadness, excitement, pretty much the craziest blend of emotions I've ever felt at one time. I wouldn't say I suppressed these feelings necessarily, but maybe as most dudes do, just didn't realize it or talk about them. Hence, the power of writing, which has unknowingly turned into the theme of this post I think. 

I wrote this speech for the 5th Grade promotion ceremony. I had been with these students since they were in Kindergarten. It was pretty special to me that I was able to be with them throughout their entire Elementary School experience, and this was a nice way to tie it all up at the end. I don't really like public speaking, but Devon encouraged me to make the speech, and I am very glad she did. It helped achieve a sense of closure I didn’t even know I would have missed.

*****
Here it is (after the cut), in case you'd like you read it...



“Did you all know that I started working here the same year as both Mrs. King and Mrs. LaRowe? That was also the first year you all started Kindergarten. I thought it might be fun to take a quick quiz to see what you learned from us… so raise your hand if you know the answer to these questions: What’s the square root of 784? (28) [nobody raises hand] hmm..ok..How about the capital of Norway? (Oslo) [nobody raises hand] ok interesting...Raise your hand if you know how to play capture the flag? [everyone raises hands] The results speak for themselves...
On a more serious note, it has been a pleasure to teach beside these amazing teachers, Mrs Barber included, throughout my time here at Bird Rock, they have always inspired me, and the kids, to be the best we can be. So thank you for that, my experience has been invaluable.

First I want to address the parents: Including mine, who are here to watch me graduate from 5th grade... again! I first want to introduce my In-Laws, Frank and Patty, thank you for always supporting me and being seriously the best in-laws I could have dreamed for, My amazing Mom, Carolyn thank you for making me the person I am today and for always making my Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich everyday of elementary school, My Dad couldn’t be here today unfortunately, but he deserves a lot of credit for me being here too, so thanks Dad, and finally to my incredible wife, Devon, thank you for inspiring me, and for always making my Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich everyday of elementary school the second time around!

To all of you Parents, thank you all for allowing me the opportunity to be around your incredible kids these past 6 years. You have supported me in so many ways, just as you have with your kids and I am eternally grateful for the experiences and relationships I have built with each and every one of you. Thank You!!

Now to all you goofballs,
I have known you for more than half of your lives at this point. Thats crazy!! I feel in a way, we have grown up together. I have seen you loose all of your teeth, lose countless sweatshirts, (sorry parents..I tried), I’ve tied so many of your shoe laces and proudly seen you learn to tie your own, I’ve seen you learn to hop, skip and jump, Ive seen you fall down, scrape your knees, and break your arms, I've seen you learn, I’ve seen you grow, (some more than others), and most impressively, become the amazing kids you are today. I’ve seen you laugh, I’ve seen you cry, I’ve seen you discouraged and I’ve seen you excited. I’ve seen you fail, I’ve seen you succeed. I’ve seen you argue with friends, I’ve seen you shake hands and make-up. I’ve seen you experience life. The way it is, the way it will be. It has truly been an honor, to be your PE coach these last 6 years. I hope I have taught you a fraction of what you all taught me. I am so proud of all of you and wish you all the best things in life. I hope you all will remember how to be a kid, forever. Remember to play fair, remember to be a good sport, and remember to treat each other with respect.. and finally, remember to NEVER STOP PLAYING!!! I will miss you all so much!!! 

10 comments:

  1. Transitions are rarely ever stress free (same goes for public speaking ;)
    Congrats to all for graduating 5th grade! And good luck in all you decide to do!

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  2. even that i never meet you, or being in your class, reading what you wrote on this and your speech makes me feel a pang of sadness from parting ways. like i'm saying goodbye to my teacher too. but here's to a new adventure in your life :)

    p.s : thank you for never have a mullet!

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  3. I got a tear in my eye reading that! Well done. Good luck in your next chapter. :-) Enjoy! Stacy and Brian

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  4. Great speec! I am very excited to see what you and Devon have in store. It always works out how it's supposed to... maybe not on your timing... most likely not how you planned it... but it always works out. What else could it do? Have faith.

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  5. What a lovely speech, I read it with a smile on my face and a lump in my throat. I'm guessing Devon had a tear in her eye too, it's a bittersweet moment. I loved reading your post, and I know exactly what you mean about needing to write things down to feel organised and inspired. I'm wishing you much luck and happiness for your new job and for the future. Those little people were very lucky to have you as their teacher for six years. But where do those sweatshirts go??? Best wishes Scott, CJ

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  6. Ok, I don't know you but I got choked up reading this post especially the speech. It was short, sweet and to the point. It is a bittersweet moment but it sounds as if you made an impact on those kids by experiencing life as kids.

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  7. Really beautiful speech! Good job and all the best.

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  8. Hi Everyone. Just wanted to let you all know that I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on this post. Im not really that blog savvy but I have really been impressed with the sense of community blogging provides. You are all such positive people and Im glad I had a chance to connect, even in a small way, with you all. Happy summer!! -Scott

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  9. This is such a beautiful speech, Scott!! You can just feel the emotion in each word about how much these kids mean to you. I'm sure you were hands down their favorite teacher:) Change is scary, but I'm so excited to see what wonderful things you guys have in store for the future.

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  10. p.s. those little kid pictures of you are adorable!

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