Celebration! Renee in Norfolk

There are so many memorbale moments from our last Friday of Breakthrough. A few that stand out from Celebration are our faculty fashion show for which we adorned ourselves in trash to follow our “Go Green” theme and our cheesy dance to the Dancing Queen. Perhaps most memorable, however, has to be our summer director proposing to his girlfriend! One of our students who is a bit quiet sang a song so well that people were encouraging her to go professional, and many others took risks that I wouldn’t have taken as a 7th, 8th, or 9th grader. The reception afterwards was bittersweet for most everyone. We sang one final bus greeting to the kids, and even students who I was convinced did not like me were giving me hugs. Signing Summerbooks and seeing my students in tears was one of the saddest things I’ve ever experienced in my life.

I learned so much this summer about teaching and education that I could never have learned as a student in any class. I do not feel like I will ever be a first year teacher again, even when I eventually have my own classroom for an entire year. Through this experience I learned the necessity of moving quickly in class, having defined units, and pushing kids further than they think they can go. Lois Loufborrow told us in professional development during her visit that when talking about their favortie teachers, students almost always use the word “push.” I learned to accept the fact that students do not need to like me in the moment, but after they graduate, the teachers who are remembered the most are those who made students work during breaks and lunch and those who assigned extra work to challenge students.

I am leaving to go home today, and I will truly miss all of the wonderful faculty and staff I have met this summer, and the amazing students I had the opportunity to work with. It has been a summer to remember.

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