In the Home Stretch

I can’t believe it…  The school year is nearly over!  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my job as teacher but I love summer vacation.  And quite honestly, I need a break–a long break.

At my school’s open house a couple of weeks ago, the staff was asked to summarize their year with one word.  My word was adventurous.  This year was quite an adventure… a lot of new experiences.  Although I had to deal with my chronic health issues during this school year, I still consider 2013-2014 to be a good and successful year.

  1. We started out our year with a new administrative triumvirate: a new principal, a new assistant principal, and a new school counselor.  The three of them were a great fit for our school and contributed to our positive school culture.
  2. The Science Olympiad Team that I coach had a super successful year.  We placed at the two invitational tournaments that we attended.  At the Orange County Regional Tournament we placed second, giving us a berth at the SoCal State Finals!  It was great to return to the state finals after not qualifying for the past three years.20140228_slr_scioly_0115
  3. The Ladera Vista Foundation hosted it’s first annual “Students vs. Teachers” sports night to help raise money for technology at our school.  Everyone had a great time!WP_20140314_19_21_23_Pro
  4. Historically, my school has had the reputation of being the more “artsy” junior high in the district.  However this year, our principal and superintendent have actually taken steps to officially make us a “school of the arts.”  Exciting things are coming up and we even had an informal kickoff by having a “Passport to the Arts” event a couple of weeks ago.  The theme was the Renaissance and both teachers and community members provided enrichment to eager students.                                                                                   IMG_2552
  5. I was really excited to use the curriculum from the Key Issues Institute that I attended last summer in Colorado.  My students responded very well to the epidemiology lab and case study.  I’ll be writing a post on that experience soon.IMG_1702
  6. There are times when being a teacher feels like a thankless job, but this year I was really blessed by more than a few students who actually showed their appreciation.  I was floored, humbled, and brought to tears by the thoughtfulness of some of these kids.  Here’s an email I received from one student:                                  1480517_10201845562154000_845484296_nAnd here are a couple of former students who, out of the blue, dropped by my classroom with a mug and a wonderful handwritten card. IMG_1969They came at a time that I was actually feeling pretty discouraged but their gesture gave me the pick-me-up I needed to keep me going for the rest of the semester school year.
  7. But probably the biggest highlight of this school year for me was watching my son flourish during his eight grade year.  In spite of my being a teacher at his school, my son was able to come into his own and not just be “Mr. B’s son.”  From being a leader through ASB to performing on stage at lunch, Ben definitely shined.  He was even recognized by one of his teachers at the LV People’s Choice Awards the other night.  He’ll do just fine in high schoolIMG_2615                             IMG_2760

Now, with only 10 instructional days left in the school year, we are definitely in the home stretch.  It’s been a busy year.  But it’s been a good year.

Still, I’m ready for summer.



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