Tick tock, tick tock... let the countdown of days begin. It seems once the weather finally breaks, some well meaning teacher starts posting the "how many days of school are left" numbers. I really wish they wouldn't do that. As soon as the first number goes up, the kids chalk up the school year to being done, and start thinking about summer.
Myself, I am in a panic, thinking about all the many things I need to cover yet, all the topics I wanted to revisit with students, and all the fun activities I swore we'd do at the end of the year when the weather got nice.
We are at the point in the year where I really honestly like the kids, I know them, quirks, strengths, weaknesses, and all, and like them in spite of, or more likely because of those things. We have worked through the honeymoon period where I liked them because they were new, we've plodded through the time in the middle of the winter where I was tired and frustrated with the things they couldn't do, their misbehaviors, and their rambling stories, and we've gotten to the point where we know each other well. My classroom expectations are ingrained in them. They know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. They are working hard because they want to be successful and want to please me. They are learning because they have seen how it all comes together to explain questions they've been asking.
And I become melancholy... thinking about letting them go to 8th grade, and starting over again with a new group, "the worst group we've seen in a long time". (Isn't it funny how the 6th grade says THAT every year, about every group....)
But then, a 6th grader smiles at me in the hall, and says, "I get to have YOU for math next year!" and suddenly, I realize... it's all going to be OK. By this time next year, I will be sad again.... contemplating letting another group move on.