The last week of this year's school term has arrived. I've been teaching for over thirty-three years now, but I never get used to the dynamics of the final week of classes.
As is the case every year, both the students and I are looking forward to summer vacation. But we also know that the time has come to say "Good-bye!" to some in the group. A few graduate, others move on to different educational circumstances. Such farewells are difficult even though I know that they are part of the annual cycle.
As a teacher about to begin this last week of the term's classes, I always wish that I had done some things differently. And even as this term ends, I am making plans for the next year. Throughout the summer, I make mental plans as to what I envision for each of the courses I teach. After all, September comes in just a few months! The first day of every term's classes is a day to look forward to and a time of another new start, but the planning for that first day of the upcoming term begins with the first day of summer vacation.
During this last week of classes, the new term seems far away. The ultimate paradox is that summer will have seemed too short when classes resume, yet summer's arrival seemed so distant during the school year.