Last year we ended school on June 30th after a long school year and a strike. I joked that day that at least next year the 30th would be a Saturday so at least we’d go just till the 29th. Tomorrow is the 29th and our last day , after another strike or two and tons of snow days. This year a late June dismissal feels less tragic.

Tomorrow marks the end of my 11th year teaching full time, I took an 8 year hiatus to raise some pretty cool kids. Of those 11, 8 were spent in special education. That’s where I have landed again. Tomorrow I will read my favorite book to the students. It’s about author Patricia Polacco’ s childhood and her struggle with a learning disability which prevented her from becoming a reader until fifth grade. At that time she met a teacher who realized her disability and taught her to read, but not before she had spent years thinking she was dumb.

I have read this to many classes over the years with a variety of responses. Most touching are the students, who at the end look up at me and say … That’s just like me. I am thankful to all the Mr. Faulkers of the world, many of with whom I get to work side by side or have taught my own children. Thank you for believing in all the students who have been given up on by others or those who have simply given up on themselves.

This year I learned that the most important part of my position was to work all my students to their fullest potential whether that meant recognizing their name or writing paragraphs. Every day my greatest wish is that I can facilitate my students to realize and achieve their full potential! Now on to recharge my batteries.


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