179 Day Contract

In a few short days I will reenter retirement. After another year as an Educational Assistant at a local elementary school, I now get the biggest reward: summer break! I’ll enjoy these easy-breezy days, knowing that come September, I’ll have to reapply for this job that I love. I have a 179 day contract. I took a brief moment to journal each evening. Here’s a quick (cough!) recap.

T-Minus 14. Job interview. Nervous.

T-Minus 5. FINALLY heard that I got the job. Yay!

T-Minus 4. New shoes. Just part of the job.

T-Minus 2. I wish for perpetual summer.

Day 1. Rescued praying mantis from the loving grip of a first grader.

Day 12. Sweet A is convinced that my name is Mrs. Hikes. Day 25. Still, Mrs. Hikes.

FullSizeRender2Day 14. Slide on the bum, not the tum. Its the rule.

Day 17. Reading groups start today. I LOVE teaching!

Day 23. Took both 2nd and 3rd grade reading groups outside. 83 degrees.

Day 28. No less than 3 kids puked.

Day 32. Newly installed whiteboard in my happy hallway teaching corner.

Day 34. 2016 Oregon Teacher of the Year at our school! Well deserved, love her!

Day 36. Halloween Parties. I wore cat ears because most of the kids wouldn’t know who Wilma Flintstone is.

Day 38. Venus Fly Trap video in reading group. Girls: “Gross!” Boys “Cool!”


Day 55. The Gingerbread Man arrived in kindergarten.

Day 58. The Great Glitter Fiasco of 2015.

Day 61. The roof is leaking in several places.

IMG_2747Day 63. I asked 6 teachers for white paint. There is a white paint shortage.

Day 64. Snow Day!

Day 65. Christmas Break. Two glorious weeks.

Day 66. (Two glorious weeks later.) Back in the saddle again.

Day 70. Friday! I went skiing the second I left the school.

Day 71. The kinder teacher that I work with is truly the best.

Day 76. Three of my 3rd graders graduated out of my reading group. Miss those sweet faces, but also so proud and happy for them.

Day 79. ‘Hoping’ and ‘hopping’ are difficult for kids and adults alike.

IMG_2774Day 80. Library tours for both new groups. Our librarian is awesome.

Day 85. “Why does the American flag have 13 stripes?”

Day 89. 65 degrees in February! Recess just became awesome again.

Day 91. Our school was stormed. Summit High School Call to Kindness.

Day 92. Abe Lincoln Chatterpix. Day 97. George Washington Chatterpix.

FullSizeRenderDay 94. Third grade field trip dogsledding adventure.

Day 100. When I am 100 I will…

Day 101. Dr. Seuss door décor. Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

Day 102. Jump rope helicopter.

Day 108. Oh, second grade.

Day 109. Given new opportunity. Day 111. First day in PAWS.IMG_2631

Day 113. Fire drill scared the bejesus out of me.

Day 114. Oregon governor, Kate Brown, at our school today for technology tour.

Day 115. Spring Break; coming right up.

Day 116. Spring Break; over in a flash.

Day 117. Its Tuesday and I’m just really tired.

Day 122. Played chess in PAWS. I enjoy the kids in there.

Day 127. I heard 49 days left.

IMG_2884Day 131. It was a good Monday.

Day 133. Staff vs Students basketball game.

Day 134. I brought my typewriter to kinder today.

Day 136. I pulled a muscle drop kicking a soccer ball. I have NEVER pulled a muscle before.

Day 137. My least favorite title: Duty Teacher.

Day 140 – Day 144. Staff appreciation week. Love this week as a PTO and a staff.

Day 145. Principal asked me to teach a Friendship Group. Day 148. First Friendship Group.

Day 159. Synchronized swimming in talent show.

Day 161. Little L has been playing the recorder on the playground. Music to my ears…(??)

Day 162. After work special ed. party.FullSizeRender

Day 163. And with that…only two weeks left.

Day 168. Juniper Film Festival! The atmosphere is abuzz.

Presumptive last week: Recycling bins all full.

Presumptive LAST DAY: In the words of (the great?) Alice Cooper…SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER!!

I never hesitate coming to work because my days are filled with little learning brains and pleasant coworkers, many of whom harbor an amazing sense of humor. We really just have an incredible school.

And now…onto those retirement plans. Namely, camping and a serious lack of mascara.

Dedicated to Missy in Kindergarten. Your friendship has been my year’s biggest reward. Here’s hoping to do it all again next year!



  1. Tracy, you are amazing! You just made me cry! Your friendship has been my year’s biggest reward too!!! Here’s hoping for MANY more years to do it all over again!

  2. Now that our summer is off to a grand start – I LOVE your Blog!
    Thank you for capturing that we have the best jobs in the world. And thank you for touching the lives of so many students. You are an amazing teacher and we can’t wait for next year!

    1. Thanks for reading Maria. Working with young people is truly the best; they live in wonder and I appreciate that about them. Happy Summer!

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