Celebrate: The Summertime Migration of a Teacher

Happy weekend! It’s time to Celebrate this Week with Ruth Ayers. celebrate link upThis week I celebrate cleaning up my classroom and the pleasures of viewing my year in reverse.

Packing up the books we loved is physical and emotional exercise. Those beautiful books that ended the year are tucked away for the time when the new crop of kiddos will be ready for them. Books stacked in carefully marked boxes will be presents to opened next school year.  Slowly, the classroom library disappears inside and on top of cabinets.

Picture books, potential read alouds, and professional texts I can’t part with I put on the things-to-take-home table.


Pulling out the work we did over the year, I’m pleased and surprised with all we did. I stack up genius hour projects, paper blogs, comic strips about Westward Expansion, reading reflections, annotations on poetry as possible mentor texts.

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A handful of student work (high, medium and not so medium) I add to the take home pile.

Charts are piled high on one table.  I repost each one on the whiteboard, snap a picture, and put it in the recycling bin.

iPads need to be stored and cleaned out. Going through the customized screen savers and camera rolls, I see remnants of the students they were. Silly videos, Canva designs they made, word clouds, the histories of their digital lives in 5th grade. It’s better than a yearbook!

Four boxes sit on the carpet. They contain the reading and writing histories of my incoming students. Running records and writing notebooks are my summer homework. They allow me a very privileged peek at the future.  I see what they love, how they doodle, their “one sunny day” stories, their firsts and lasts, their heart maps, and the sentences they crafted over the year.


These treasures are loaded on a cart outside my classroom.

I close the door, hand over the keys, and roll the cart to my car.

As I leave the parking lot, my classroom village is dismantled, and my car is filled. I celebrate the seasonal shift of a teaching life. The pace and the purpose changes. It’s time to look backward and plan forward.

Thank you, Ruth, for your link up and the joyful, reflective practice of weekly celebration. Read more here.

10 thoughts on “Celebrate: The Summertime Migration of a Teacher

  1. You take a different, more positive approach to this chore than I did. In addition to the usual cleaning, I had to move a classroom. Thank goodness it wasn’t two. (I teach at two schools.) It made the last week miserable for me.
    Thanks for your TWT post today, too. I need to tuck the ideas away for next year. See you real soon!!

    • Oh my gosh, two schools! Yikes that is hard and moving classrooms does take any possible fun out of packing up. Speaking of packing … see you soon

  2. What a lovely reflection. I love the thoughtful way you “packed” for us. I envy you the time to see their writing notebooks, etc and the chance you have to “know” your students ahead of time. We get our class list a few days before the start, so no such time here.

    • Thanks Erika! I’m lucky because I get ALL the fourth graders. We team teach so there is no mystery about my future readers and writers 🙂

  3. Loved following your look back to guide your plans of the future. You will have a busy summer as you wander through the notebooks, but what a great way to get a jumpstart on your future students.

  4. Julieanne,
    So ambitious! Can’t wait to see you at #TCRWP. So many ideas to share. A 5th grade teacher I know had a classroom auction for her charts. Kids loved the opportunity to take them home. Your post on #TWT today has also given my much to think about and celebrate. I’m ready to start a “Teachers Write” class, opportunity, something so that teachers write more!!! See you NEXT WEEK!

    • The summer is the best time for us teachers to practice writing. I love your idea of a class! Maybe writing clubs or blogs will grow from it! Can’t wait for next week!!

  5. I will be doing this next week and I must remember these words, ” I celebrate the seasonal shift of a teaching life. The pace and the purpose changes. It’s time to look backward and plan forward.” YES!!! Looking forward to being done with the transition and now looking forward to the process. Thank you for helping me switch my outlook to a more positive one!

  6. Wow. Just wow, Julieanne. What a beautiful tribute to the work your students did this year – and to your kind connections to each of them. I love reading your thoughts about them. I love that you put such positive energy into the world about kids and teaching and learning. Thank you for that – and for all you do for our learning community.

    Be strong 🌴 Be courageous 🌺 Be you 🌎


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