Today was our Awards Ceremony (or 5th Grade Graduation, for most of them). This was my last official act as team lead. As always, there was a lot of prep work, a lot of stressing, a lot of running around--and then everything just came together in the end. Our biggest challenge today was that our sound system blew, so instead of using microphones to speak to a totally packed cafeteria, we had to use our "teacher voices". Mrs. A spoke first, then turned it over to me. I gave my team lead speech about our year as a whole, and then talked about (and to) my class. This was where I had to cut my speech short because I was starting to get choked up. So I gave my kids their awards (every student received an award for something, and each student got something different--and THAT takes freakin' forever, coming up with awards for everyone. And they can't be blowoff awards like "Class Clown," either. They have to be serious, significant, academic-related awards).
After each of the other classes received their awards, we played the special, super-secret DVD that we've been working on as a surprise. It started off funny: we had different shots of all the kids in sunglasses to go with "My Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades". It was really cute and everyone had a great time. Then--BAM!!--came the emotional sucker punch. That song segued into "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts, and showed pictures of the kids with their friends and stuff. The last song was "I Will Remember You," and by this time, the parents are pretty much hysterical. (It was really kind of funny; when the lights came back on, all you could hear was sniffling and nose-blowing.) After the video, I went up one last time ("Don't feel bad," I told them, gesturing at all the Kleenex. "I had to watch that thing like 5 times before I could get through it without crying") and thanked the parents for sharing their kids with us this year. It really was a good ceremony, and I couldn't believe the turn out. A LOT of parents had to get off work for it, and I hope we made it worth their while.
**Note: I really hope I can find a way to share that DVD with all of you. I'm pretty sure I can upload it to YouTube, but I only want to do that if I can make it private--I THINK there's a way to do that. I'll work on it. If anyone knows anything about that, let me know.**
Each class had their own party; ours was at the end of the day, and it wasn't a just your ordinary party, it was a "reception." Seriously, my class parents are freakin' AWESOME, and put together a truly amazing little bash for them. (The highlight for the kids were marshmallow and strawberry shishkebobs that they got to dip into melted chocolate--yes, we were quite high-class, LOL.) The second minor dilemma we had was the parents were planning to set up during lunch and recess--until it started to rain and we had indoor recess. Obviously, the room wasn't ready for us yet, so to "stall," I ended up taking my class down to the cafeteria, where we played Heads Up Seven Up for half an hour. (I don't care how old you are, that game NEVER gets old.)
Anyway...that's about it for the year. We have 2 official days of school left, but everyone knows those are basically bullshit. We're really not doing much of anything. We'll have a LOT of movies and stuff, which will give me time to do some of my last minute teacher paperwork and stuff. My last day reporting to work is Thursday.
I made it!