Graduation. That event usually marks the end of another arduous school year, but this time around, commencement truly was a beginning.
Because of this school year's later start date, our last day wasn't until June 4, but our district had already booked the convention center for graduation, so we were locked into graduating our seniors on May 30. In an attempt to spare the seniors from having to come back to school after graduation, an alternate calendar was devised. Come to school for a few hours on three separate Saturdays, and you could earn those three days and not have to come back after the ceremony. Sounds pretty good, huh?
Most seniors took advantage of that plan, so on May 28 and 29, all but five of my English students took their finals. Then on Saturday, we had graduation, complete with the pomp and circumstance, pictures, hugs, a few tears, farewells and all that good stuff. We followed that with our annual faculty luncheon, which is typically our final send-off before summer.
But this year? This year it was just a thanks-for-giving-up-your-Saturday lunch for teachers because come Monday, we were all back at work for the last week of school. And those five of my seniors who DIDN'T take advantage of the alternate calendar Saturdays? They were there with us. So we were back for round 2 of finals, and a full five days after graduation, we finally made it to the teacher workday and finished out the school year.
BUT WAIT! There's more! Even AFTER our second "goodbye," we teachers had two days of required continuous improvement training to attend. So on June 5 and 8, we were STILL at work! Fortunately, the days passed fairly quickly, so by 3 p.m. on the 8th, we were finally on our way out the door and on our way to sweet, sweet summer and FREEDOM!