## Friday, May 18, 2012

### Happy Endings (Mostly)

Last day of school. The end is always bittersweet. I hate good-byes and generally dislike the ending of things, but I am looking forward to time at home with my 2-year-old and resting up for a fresh start next year. I have a list of things to do over the summer, both work and fun. I love how this year is ending. Mostly.

This activity went better than I hoped:  Try to write an equivalent for the numbers 1-100 using four 4's and any mathematical procedure. Autograph your solution. It was nice to see students work on this when they were otherwise ready to be done with thinking. I really loved seeing factorials and other creative solutions as they showed up.

I always get especially attached to my seniors in physics and calculus. A group of students in my physics class did a skit as part of their senior class variety show. There was Humpty Dumpty falling off of a wall, and calculations for force and final velocity. Oh, and a senior boy dressed as me, singing to the class and offering to have everyone over for meatloaf. I am not sure that the crowd understood our inside jokes, but it warmed my heart. Here they are, don't they look like a fun group?

There was a class t-shirt. "Life doesn't come with an answer book". I love to say that. It used to be true, before Google. Now I have to insert the word "always".

My algebra students worked pretty diligently on their final projects. Speaking of final projects, today I am more in love with blogging than ever. I posted about this project just a few days ago, and received some wonderful comments. Thanks to others being kind enough to read and thoughtful enough to comment, I now know how to make the project better for next time. Thank you, blogosphere! I hope that I can return the favor.

And, one not-so-happy ending . . . One of my favorite colleagues has officially announced that she is leaving. I will move to her room next year, trading my cinderblock walls for a lovely corner window. The view is street side parking and a railroad track, but I am looking forward to seeing sunshine and the first snowflakes falling next winter . . .

. . . Still, I would be much happier if she was staying! We have been through a lot together these last seven years:  Tornado recovery, a trailer classroom, celebrity sightings, and learning (the hard way) that the top shelf in the closet won’t hold a full set of textbooks. Together we conquered our state's math assessment. We shared the victory of watching our most struggling students succeed. Working with her made me a better teacher. I am going to miss you, friend in the middle. We all will.