Hectic. Hectic. Hectic. That’s the only way to describe the end of the school year. So much to do and all with a definite due date. No extensions allowed.
Naive, energetic, young thing that I am, I volunteer to help out. Experienced, tired, older things that fellow colleagues are, they let me.
I organize the year-end party for the grade 9 students who will be going on to high school the next year. I book buses, order the food and pop, gather permission slips and sports equipment needed for a day at the lake. Oh yes, and hire a lifeguard. My home room is grade 9 so I’ll be going along.
For the grade 7 and 8 students, the job is a bit simpler. I book a spot at the infamous West Edmonton Mall water park and order more busses. Homeroom teachers will gather permission slips and go with these students.
I’m on the “courtesy committee.” I am a committee of one so I dash about town buying farewell gifts for those teachers moving on to other schools.
Not to forget the awards ceremony which is combined with the grade 9 farewell celebration. I order a portable stage for the school gymnasium. I coerce the phys ed teacher into raising the basketball backboard so it won’t interfere with our decorations. I gather together student volunteers. We spend noon hours sewing a huge hot air balloon from yards and yards of blue cotton, and fluffy clouds from yards and yards of white cotton. The clouds, once attached to the gym wall, will spell out “Farewell.”
In our frenzy of excitement I forget that all of these yards of cotton will have to be attached somehow and attached at high altitude. The custodian lends us his extra-long ladder. No way I’m climbing that thing. The boys don’t seem too keen either, but are eager to hold and steady the ladder. One of the girls is game. I close my eyes each time she ascends and breathe a sigh of relief when she’s back on terra firma. It’s been a bit of a nightmare, but the wall looks wonderful and if the parents aren’t impressed I’ll eat my hat … or have a stiff drink.
Passing through the staff room a little later, I overhear the counselor mention report cards. Report cards!? I’ve forgotten all about them and they’re due in 24 hours. I teach 7 classes of French and 3 of Life Skills–I have to do marks for 300 students. I groan and get to it.
Yes, I survived. And I had fun too.