Farjeon wrote a poem called “There Isn’t Time,” which has always resonated with me since I try to multi-task all of the time — sometimes successfully and sometimes I just don’t get everything done. At the end of every school year, because I’ve got this demented idea that I need to teach until the last day of school, this poem always enters my mind. I can’t shake it since I always feel like I’m running out of time to teach all my students all of the things I want to teach them before they go off into the abyss of summer.
Another text that enters my head is from the Neilah Service, which is one of the last services on Yom Kippur. I can recall my childhood rabbi reading the English Translation of the Hebrew Words, saying, “even now when the gates are closing, let us enter your gates!” Even as a young child, I always felt a sense of urgency in those words. Perhaps it is because of the awesome and holy power of the Neilah Service, which comes at the end of a day of repentance and hard-core praying. (Clearly, “hard-core praying” isn’t a term my Rabbi coined… that is all me.)
So, here I am on May 29th. I’m standing at the end of my first year of teaching here in Rhode Island. I have just 15 more school days with my treasures… the amazing children I came close to looping with. I could’ve had 195 days more with them, but instead I only have 15.
There isn’t time to teach them everything I want them to know before they head out of my classroom door on June 19th. The gates are closing on their fourth grade year. And even though I teach ’til the end, and I know that there will be time to finish poetry, probability, and even independent reading projects, I still feel as though I don’t have the time to do everything I want to do with them, as evidenced by our jam-packed week, alone, next week. (See planner photo at the top of this post.) I want to do more art, reflect on their Hopes and Dreams, create Words of Wisdom for next year’s class, write letters to next year’s teachers, have them create their portfolios for what will go on to the next grade, and so much more.
the gates are closing.
There isn’t enough time for me to do everything I want to do.
So now it comes down to this: PICKING AND CHOOSING.
What MUST they have before they walk out of my classroom door on June 19th?
What MUST I teach that will leave a lasting mark on them before they walk out of my classroom door, into the summer, and on to fifth grade?