On Friday, we finished up our time with students for the 2014-2015 school year. This has been a different kind of year with our renovation and construction project. Part of the reason was that we needed more classrooms, the other part was that the building was built with an open concept. Sometimes, the open concept has created difficulties. When people talked in the hallways while walking past my instruction area, I was distracted to say nothing of the students. There were times when a teacher in a classroom to the south of me was using music and the three classes to the west and north were having indoor recess. Or, worse yet, while reading aloud to my first graders, I had to warn them to try and laugh in a whisper or at least quietly so we wouldn't bother test takers. Who can hold in the giggles when David runs down the street naked? I can't.
This week there were some of the typical frustrations, but I also had one of the benefits of open concept. I was able to hear snippets of a teacher reading aloud from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. While I packed up my library, I could hear Mr. Tumnus, the beginnings of spring, the beavers, Lucy and Aslan. These moments made me smile they also led to conversations with students and with the teacher. I'll miss that in our renovated space with lots of walls. I look forward to the peace and quiet during my classes and the freedom to be boisterous and loud, but that comes with a price. We'll have to find other ways to stay in contact and keep our connections strong. I look forward to the challenge.
Today I celebrate the end of one era at our school and the future that we will be shaping as we create our new spaces and navigate our new path together.