And so, just like that, another year goes by. My sweet boys finished school on Thursday and suddenly I find myself the mother of a rising first grader and a rising fourth grader.

Austin had a truly fabulous year: learned to read, made new friends and thrived in every possible way. After all that back and forth about when to send him to kindergarten, I can finally say that we did the right thing. I know a woman, the grandmother of some kids at Fairfax as well as at local private schools, who has tutored in our building the past few years and she recently said that if she had a kindergarten-aged child and could choose any single teacher in all of Northeast Ohio for that child to have, she would choose this one:

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Braedan’s year was okay, with one good teacher and one, well, I don’t want to use this as a place to publicly criticize someone, but let’s just say we’re glad the year is over.

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But he does have truly wonderful friends.

As for mama bear, I have finished my fourth and final course and have freshly renewed certification to teach first through eighth grades in the great state of Ohio. Unfortunately, the single district in which I’m willing to teach (ours) laid off 32 teachers in April due to a reduction in force and cannot even look at outside candidates until all those teachers have been rehired. Although information is hard to confirm (and that’s putting it lightly — I swear, this stuff is guarded by the CIA), it seems that most of the elementary classroom teachers have indeed been rehired by now and I am still fingers-crossed-hope-hope-hoping that there may be a spot left over for little ol’ me.

But for now, we look forward to a summer of friends, relaxation, Chautauqua, waterskiing and baseball, baseball, baseball.

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