It seems appropriate that my year is ending as it began, stressing with no great sense of urgency about materials for To Kill a Mockingbird. 

And thus the year has come to an end.  I’m still here.  I feel self-deprecating about the success of my students.  However, I am confident that they are in a slightly better place than when they started.  However that might be, I know it was not only my work, but the work of the five other academic teachers the students had, and the two extracurricular teachers, the NTAs, the new Principal, the CEO, the office staff.  It was everyone.  I was a part.

Now I understand how first year teachers can be considered ineffective.  I feel ineffective.  I feel like unless I’m planning through the summer I will be ineffective next year.  I feel a lot of things these days.  But, with a paper to Ed Law looming on the horizon, with the parents coming in, with TTL duties beginning to expand, I’m doing my last work assignment: make a summer reading packet for the rising Juniors about To Kill a Mockingbird. 

I’m working.  I’m avoiding everything else.  Except this.  I’m not avoiding this.  But that’s because I’ve been avoiding this all year long.  I’ve been sucked into the idea that constantly working makes one a better teacher.  Potentially true, but no less easy to live with. 

Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I need an outlet for my normally hectic mind.  Maybe I’ve learned to keep things in better.  Maybe I’ve learned to suppress it entirely.  Maybe I’ve learned to measure my words with a little more care than the day I began this job.