Sunday, June 7, 2009

Swine Flu

It has been a very sad few days. I haven't written a post in a while as I have been so busy with end of the year projects and such. But with a week of school to go, with unfinished sewing projects on table tops, the head of my school closed our school for the remainder of the year. Two students had swine flu-like symptoms.

Just after lunch last Thursday, the head of my school received a phone call from a parent informing him that her children had swine flu like symptons and she was greatly concerned. Within an hour of that call, he informed the teachers that the school was closing and that parents would soon be arriving to take their children home. I was in a state of shock. I looked over to one of the picnic tables on the playground, where all the children were kept until their parents arrived, and saw that it was now covered with slippers, work folders, spare clothes and so much more.

We were than told that graduation ceremonies might be postponed for at least a week. Just as we were digesting this news, parents began arriving. Some of the parents were crying, all looked worried. Others gave hugs and said goodbyes to teachers that they may never see again.

The older children asked why they were going home early more times than I can say. When they were told that school was closing and that this was literally their last day, last few minutes of school, accept for graduation, they protested and then left with their parents while still asking "Why?"

I am not returning to my school next year. I stood there and felt an enormous sense of loss. It may not make sense to say this but I felt, for a few moments, homeless.

17 comments:

Maria said...

Just wanted to send a hug your way. I had to leave my classroom suddenly (I was put on emergency bedrest during pregnancy) and never got any closure with my students or my room (the year ended before I went back). I completely understand your feelings and wish I could offer more help! Hope you find some way to peace. Can you send each child a letter? I found that helped me with the loss of the last few weeks...best of luck.

Dawn E said...

Susan,

So very sorry. What a traumatic way to have to say goodbye to something--and lots of little someones--you love. I hope that graduation takes place soon and provides a pleasant closure to your chapter at this school.

((hugs)),
Dawn

Marcia said...

So sorry of your abrupt ending! Please don't let this be the end of your blogging! You have inspired me! You've reached the children in my home through this site and brought them loads of learning. Thank you. You've reached children that you will never meet.

My Child's Diary said...

So sorry for you!
I think sending letters to the children is a great idea. It will help you both dealing with the loss of the proper farewell.

Susan Y. Dyer said...

No, I am not done blogging. I have much more to write about. I have several "drafts" about the work recently done by children in my class and I have some interesting thoughts about the physical act of reaching, about children who struggle to finish work and about so much more. So stay tuned and thanks for the lovely support. Your posts have touched my heart.

Today, though, I simply miss my students - terribly...

Susan Dyer
The Moveable Alphabet

pattyannie said...

I am so sorry to hear about this. Are you still going to be teaching? Last year, our administrator took away our end of the year picnic. All the teachers were so disappointed because we didn't have that time to say goodbye to the children and the parents. This year, we made sure that our picnic was back on the schedule. How sad for the children too.

Susan Y. Dyer said...

I am going to be teaching and writing as usual. I don't know the whole picture yet. I feel like I need to make a leap - to take my elementary training, to make my blog into a book, to deepen my commitment to the Montessori method - the teaching method that has captured my mind, my heart and my imagination.

This past year I was deeply inspired by the work my children did. Now, I am leaping towards what my own mind imagines - that which is not yet nameable but causes me to feel excited and assured that it is going to be good.

Pattyannie - Enjoy your picnic!!!!

Susan Dyer
The Moveable Alphabet

Children's House said...

Just wanted to send my condolences - what a difficult way to end the school year! Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you. And keep on writing!! We're here, listening...

Jenn N said...

I have tears in my eyes as I read this post. I always look to your blog and feel so inspired but this is so sad. I feel for you and the children. I hope the health of the two children with the flu has improved and look forward to you continuing on with all the greatness you bring to your blog.

Myra said...

I am a faithful reader of your blog. I was shocked to hear about your school closing and am so sorry that this happened.

Do you ever take observers in your environment? I live in St Paul but if I ever get to Boston I would love to visit you.
Myra Arnold

Susan Y. Dyer said...

Myra...come and visit!!!!! Would love to meet you.

Susan Dyer
The Moveable Alphabet

Maria said...

Sorry to hear about your abrupt end of the school year.
At the same time I am happy to hear that new children will be have you as a teacher, happy also to know you will continue blogging thou I can imagine how long time you spend doing it.

I have learned A L O T from your blog!!!!!!!!!Thank you

Anytime visiting Gothenburg, Sweden, welcome.
MarĂ­a

Ivy said...

Susan
Your message brought back memories of my last day at my Montessori school five years ago, saying good bye to my students and families. I missed it so much, that I can't stay away from Montessori and the teachings using my materials for working in public school over the last four years was not enough. I am now returning to Montessori again, in my home this time working with six children this coming fall. I am a newby to blogs and love reading and seeing everyones messages and creativity. I wish you a wonderful graduation, and know how terribly difficult it is to say good bye! I wish you peace and be well.

guillougc said...

hope that the school graduation will go on. I am glad to hear that you will still blogging because i have been reading your blog the last six months and it helped me a lot to put the montessori method into a deeper and different perspective that the one we are taught and gave me the opportunities to think outside the box and put some projects into place when i was sub teaching in a montessori school. thank you

Annicles said...

I do hope the chilren effected are making a good recovery. I am very happy to hear that you will continue posting - I have often turned to your blog for help. Good luck for the future.

Making of a Montessori Mum said...

Thats so sad and disappointing. Really feel for you and the children. I love your blog and cant wait to see where your next leap will head to. always always inspiring to come here - yes I LOVE the book idea!

N from the Learning Ark said...

I hope your feeling better now, it's a horrible feeling when the year ends and you know your not seeing your children again. Can't wait to see your new post soon.