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Students would be surprised to know how nervous teachers are about the first day of school.  After over twenty years in education, I still have trouble sleeping the nights leading up to the first day .The first few weeks are a little awkward.  It takes me awhile to learn their names.  It takes me a few weeks to find out who they are as people. 

Now it's May 15th, and every year around this time I start to feel a bit of sadness.  I know most people think teachers are just counting down to the end of the year, but I never do that.  I couldn't tell you how many days are left.  I feel so connected to my students, and it is hard to see them go  They are all individuals with unique personalities.  I can only hope that each student has not only learned from me but has enjoyed my class.  They can't possibly understand the joy that they bring me on a daily basis.  

Last week we had a fire drill.  Here are two quotes from students:

"Am I allowed to take a book to the fire drill?"

"Do we have to get under the desks for the drill?"

See what I mean?  This job is the best. 

In seventh-grade I had an amazing English teacher at Valley Middle School in Carlsbad.  Her name was Carol McKee.  I had just moved to Carlsbad and was a gawky girl with braces and freckles.  My parents had just gone through a divorce, and it was a very hard time for me.  Mrs. McKee's class was a highlight of my day.  She treated everyone with love and respect. She cared.  In February of that year I had to move again.  I remember having her sign my check-out sheet.  She looked up me and said, "I am going to miss you."  I will never forget those words.  They meant the world to me.  I have thought about those words many times over the years, and I know now that she meant them.  I know because I am going to say that to each of my students and mean it.  
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P.S.  I had the opportunity to tell Mrs. McKee the impact of her words.  When I met my husband in 1994 his roommate was her son!  They had even been in a fraternity together.  

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