Posters have been taken off the wall. Computers have been disassembled or covered. Laptops have been checked in for maintenance. Desks have been cleared off for summer cleaning. It is time for summer break. Most staff try to put on a great face but underneath they are tired. The last few days of the the school year demand incredible amounts of time and energy. Adrenaline and coffee are helping some across the finish line. That's the way I want to finish. There was a time in my past I walked into a school gym. The district was struggling to meet budget and unfortunately, funds had been pulled from maintenance. The gym looked rough! The floor had little wax left because it had been several years since it was re-coated. The walls had some paint peeling, and the carpet in the lobby showed some threads in heavy use areas. Some people would look at that and be embarrassed. I had a thought that was a bit different. I thought to myself "think of all the joy, fun, and memories that have occurred in this room. Think of the lives that were enhanced because of the energy that was given. Think of how the room may have paid a heavy toll, but the benefit to kids was worth every scratch, skid mark, broken light, etc..."
When teachers end the year tired it should never be interpreted it is because they are "tired of the kids". Most of them have simply expended all the physical and emotional fuel in their tanks. However, I have an incredible belief in teachers, especially Willard Teachers. A bit of time off for themselves and their families and they will begin thinking and get excited about their "new kids" they will greet in the fall. Their internal tanks will fill to capacity and once again they will be ready to give it all back to kids. I have always been told it is not how you start, but how you finish. I want to finish similar to the old gym. Many Willard staff members give all they have to kids and realize that in the process they are going to get tired and look beat up due to the heavy toll. They accept that the expenditure is worth the positive results for kids.