Greetings to all who read this.
I am used to having an audience of about 27 little humans, so being here on stage to accept this award does not faze me in the slightest. When you have asked students to tell you if you have chocolate on your face or not, it takes a lot to feel embarrassment anymore.
Summertime is here.
I can tell you that there were times I didn’t know if I would make it. I didn’t know if we would make it.
Specifically towards the end of October. And then March. And then again today.
Yet we have reached the end of another school year, and entering summer break with this acceptance speech is my utmost honor.
I have many people, food items, and inanimate objects to thank for reaching this point.
Let me begin with the most important. First and foremost, I would like to thank coffee for everything it is to me and everything it will be.
You might be thinking, “Jenna, as a devout Christian, shouldn’t you being thanking God first for helping you through the year?”
God made the coffee. And He and I have it worked out. He understands. God is everywhere. Even in an elementary school. He knows.
Not only would i like to thank coffee, I would like to thank everyone and everything associated with coffee.
Thank you to the coffeemaker in my kitchen that rings a sweet glorious sound when the coffee is ready. Thank you to the filters for allowing the water to run through it in a way to make the coffee juice taste good without getting grounds in it. Thank you to all the workers at Starbucks and Biggby who have my order memorized. Specific shoutout to the worker who poured me a new coffee when I spilled mine all over myself.
Thank you to every colleague who has brought me coffee in moments of distress, or out of sheer kindness. Thank you to the coffee farmers in every remote area of the world. I love you and I thank you.
Now I would like to thank the Lord. He heard my 1pm prayers and 6:50am cries as getting out of bed became harder and harder every day in May. He got me up. He reminded me at the perfect times why I love my job. He brought amazing people in my life that makes the job even better. He made coffee. And it was good.
Next up is the Teacher’s Lounge. A resting place. A time of solace, laughter, or sometimes silence because it’s only Tuesday and it feels like Friday a 4pm.
That brings me into my teaching family. From the amazing staff who clean my classroom each day, to my teaching partners, to parapros to secretaries and lunch staff. We are a family. Sometimes a dysfunctional one, like families can be, but we love each other in the mess and we make the best out of it. So much love to you people.
You have saved the day and covered for me so I could go to the bathroom.
You have brought me kleenexes when I am having an adult meltdown.
You feed me snacks.
You people are some of the best parts of my job and I genuinely love you.
Next, I would like to thank bandaids and water fountains. Bandaids and water fountains cure 95% of all student ailments. Magic.
“My head hurts.”
“Okay honey, why don’t you try a drink of water and see if that helps.”
“Ms. Wiley, I’m bleeding”
*uses magnifying glass to find microscopic speck of red*
“Okay here is a bandaid.”
Bandaids and Water fountains- the MVP’s.
I would like to extend a thank you to each of my fabulous little students. We have our moments. They give me grace. I give them grace. We laugh. We cry. We learn together. It’s a great gig. Thanks for everything guys. I loved *almost* every minute with you. It was awesome but now teacha needs a break. Thank you for bringing in Hawaiian leis and celebrating the end of the year with a Karaoke Party in my room yesterday after school. Kids rock.
Thank you to the yoga balls on which my students sat this year. You let them move and wiggle and bounce and be all hyper while letting me still teach. I got a little motion sickness at first, watching the ups and downs in rhythmic form. But I got used to it.
Thank you to my friends and family outside of work. The ones who understood if it was a “bad day” and listened to me vent as needed.
Thank you to my Spring Break vacation. I needed you.
Thank you to the substitute teachers who literally saved my life by filling in for me on days I was out.
Thank you to antibiotics for the 2 times I got bronchitis.
Thank you to the teacher I share a classroom with one day a week. Your healthy life tips are appreciated. I am a hoarder. Thank you for dealing with my piles everywhere.
Thank you to the people behind “treat days.” Seeing random treats in the lounge for no reason at all gives you a perfect excuse to binge eat the stress away. Carb loading on donuts did come with a few consequences, but in the end, totally worth it.
It was an amazing year.
An exhausting, happy, emotional, fabulous, insane year.
As you see, I never could have done it alone. So with great joy and little to no pride (I have none left after some of the lessons I have taught this year), I accept summer vacation.
Congratulations to all who made it. Your trophy is sunny and sandy.
And to anyone who thinks it’s unfair that teachers get summers off:
actually, never mind. I honestly don’t even have the energy to debate with you.