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What Was Your Most Memorable Last Day of School?



NEA members respond


I will never forget the last day of school in June of 2006. It was the day I retired after teaching special education for 33 years. As I walked to my car in the parking lot for the last time, it was a bittersweet moment. Over the years, there were some difficult times—tough students, no supplies, eight different superintendents, and picket lines. But then there were the days when a student, struggling to learn the multiplication tables, would look up at me and smile, finally saying, “I got it!” There is no better feeling in the world, and I left school that last day feeling very proud indeed.
Dave Hegner
South Dennis, Massachusetts

 

We were in business class. Mike, a great kid, asked me what I was going to do when school was out. I said the first thing I was going to do was go to the library and check out five or six books. He looked startled and said, “You mean (gulp) you read when you don’t have to?” This happened many years ago but I’ll never forget it.
Pat Johnson
Albion, Pennsylvania

After being laid off due to budget cuts, I was devastated the last day of school. I fought back the tears as I bid farewell to the children at dismissal. Then, a child’s mother came up to me and wrapped her arms around me. She said, “You have touched our lives in ways you could never know.” Later, when I turned to look at my classroom one last time, I had the comfort of knowing I made a difference, and perhaps children and families elsewhere would need me, too. 
Darcee Chaplick
Tuckerton, New Jersey

After all the finals for my world history class were done and the year was over, a freshman girl came up to me and said “Thank you.” It was the best gift of all. 
Dan Hayman
Downers Grove, Illinois

On a field trip during my last year teaching in California, we visited the railway museum in Sacramento. I told the group that I’m related to George Pullman, inventor of the Pullman sleeping car. On the last day of school, the parents presented me with a replica of a wool Pullman blanket. I still snuggle up with it on cold Idaho nights and think of those remarkable kids and parents.
Sandy Doering
Post Falls, Idaho
 
The day I will never forget was frustrating. I was teaching a kindergarten split session, 24 a.m. students, 24 p.m. But we only have a half day on the last day of school, so the administration, in all its wisdom, decided that the afternoon children would come for the early session. I had 48 children for one chaotic morning. Oh, how the tears poured!
Dee Lantaff
Topsham, Maine

On the last day of school in 2005, I was pregnant and started having contractions on the way to work. I’m a speech-language impairments educator, and I decided to go in anyway so that I could finish filing my Progress on Goals. My special education director finally made me leave work after lunch, and I had the baby a couple hours later. So now the joke is, for a quick and easy baby delivery, file your POGs.
Erin Burdziak
Woodhaven, Michigan

 

We want to hear from you!

Tell us, in your words, about the single best way to get the school year off to a good start. Please use specific examples and anecdotes, and we’ll consider your submission for an upcoming issue of NEA Today.

Photo credit: Jennifer Gunn

 

 

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Published In

May, 2010


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On the Last Day

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Beginning the School Year Right

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