The end of the school year brings a lot of emotions for any age student. For students, there are feelings of excitement because summer is just around the corner, and feelings of sadness because they are going to miss their favorite teacher. Teachers also have a lot of the same emotions; excitement because summer is just around the corner and feelings of sadness because they’re going to miss their favorite students.
Mrs. Golin, a third-grade teacher at Farley Hill Elementary School, said she is one of those teachers. This picture story shows a glimpse of what it’s like as an elementary school teacher on the final days of the year.
Golin became a teacher with hopes of making a difference in a child’s life and instilling a love of learning. Her active and inquiry-based classroom involves using humorous words or phrases that usually only a third-grader would find funny, theatrically reading the final chapters in a book as if she were acting out a Broadway play and making sure she gives lots and lots of hugs.
The last week of school is also filled with exciting events, and on this day, Golin’s classroom had a packed schedule. From third-grade graduation rehearsal, Michigan City presentations, talking to parents, and to the graduation itself, the life of an elementary school teacher is busy.
At the end of the school year, learning doesn’t stop. All of the third-graders at Farley Hill Elementary presented their Michigan City projects. Golin said that the presentations are an important learning experience because it teaches the students how to research a topic of study and present it.
“Presenting their knowledge is priceless, as it is motivating and rewarding for students to teach others of their newly learned information,”Golin said.
Yvonne Taylor, the principal at Farley Hill Elementary, said the third-grade graduation is an important celebration.
“It’s an important transition between what they’ve learned and accomplished and what’s now yet to come,” Taylor said.
The graduation also symbolizes the transition of the student into a higher learning environment; these third graders will be moving into the upper elementary school building next year. The ceremony also brings closure to the students and teachers.
“You can’t just put them on the bus and say see ya,” Taylor said. “It’s that symbolic and real need on part of the children, parents and staff to bring closure to the last four years together.”
The last week for a teacher also deals with some not-so-exciting business, like uncovering a desk piled high with paperwork and projects, report card deadlines and playground tears.
All that doesn’t stop Golin from doing what she’s passionate about. She explained that her job doesn’t stop when she leaves the classroom.
“We do not work 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but from sun up to sun down,” Golin said. “We plan, make phone calls to parents, correct papers, design lessons, enter grades, take classes and analyze data daily. We take college courses and training to keep our skills sharp and continually volunteer for committees and fill coaching opportunities when we have that skill.”