It’s March 5th, the sun is shining, early spring flowers are beginning to emerge from their winter rest. Flocks of redwing black birds are visiting our feeders. We’ve seen some robins singing in the trees. Geese and ducks have populated the pond behind our house now that the ice has vanished. Temperatures should reach into the 50s today. In just over two weeks the Spring Equinox arrives. There’s a hint of Spring all around.
Living in the Midwest, I know we may still have days with frost on the ground, snow may continue to fall occasionally. A few years back I followed a brigade of plows on my L-O-N-G commute to work. We’ve even had a March snow day in year’s past. Even when March brings white crystals falling from the sky, I know there is still a hint of Spring.
Spring also brings our state testing (PARCC) to the forefront of our thoughts as teachers. We need to plan for the hours where we will proctor rather than guide. Where silence will replace the happy energy in our rooms. Where I’ll encourage students to do their best, but also remind them that they are not a test score. Where I’ll watch the clock and wait to resume the magic of learning. Luckily it’s just an hour each day. Only one test at a time and then back to our real purpose.
This Spring also reminds me that it’s the final stretch. Only 1/3 of the year is left. Our class has grown into a community of learners. I’ve seen my students grow in confidence and skills. They help one another and share their wisdom, excepting differences. We’ve shared laughter, deep thinking, discussions, memorable experiences, learning. We’ve grown together. I want to slow down the days, savor the moments and enjoy every minute of our remaining time together. You see, when Spring ends and I say “goodbye” in June my students will be moving on to the junior high. I’ll be packing up and closing the door to room 202 one final time as I move on to new adventures, retiring (early) from Illinois.
It’s March 5th, there’s a hint of Spring in the air. It’s bitter-sweet to know as the days get longer and the temperatures climb, I’ll be stepping closer and closer to that finish line. Then it will be time to begin a new adventure, opening a new door.