Whew! Only those in education can understand the buildup of tension that comes with the end of another year teaching. Not only is there the daily task of lesson planning and teaching, there’s also a multitude of additional work. Classroom inventories. Double and triple checking grades of seniors and lots of communication with counselors and the registrar (who’s going to pull of a last minute passing grade – or not. The “walk” list is changed daily). Finals – of course. Students pleading for extra credit (sorry – I don’t do day before the final assignments like that). Counseling students who are “this close to grabbing an A” and those who gave up on school months ago. (Never let go of the latter – even if they drop out, we need to give them good memories of staff who cared and wanted them to keep trying.)
You’ll notice this is marked as “shameless self promotion.” My broadcasting class has morphed from a room of kids who didn’t want to be there (my first teaching the class at McNair, spring 07) to kids who worked until and after the last bell this year. Students who want to have fun and do the assignments. I had a few (yeah – this is you Anthony) who bugged me every day if I didn’t have their clips ready or script ready for them to work on. An amazing TA (sweet, quiet Jonathan) who completely took the load of checking gear in and out off my hands.
First term I had kids flunking a class they could have aced with a bit of effort. This year two failed – one because I saw him only one day all term and the other because he was hauled off for more than a month on a family vacation (yeah, in the middle of school). One D, a few Cs and the majority As and Bs.
What makes this interesting to me is that each term I rachet it up a bit – I shorten the time they have to complete the work and also increase the workload.
This year ended with a celebration – recognition of students who went beyond what they were asked to do. Jonathan, thank you. Trust is everything with me and you I trusted. Vanessa and Anthony, you are passionate about video. Peter and Bryan – you know and I know that you did the work but played around too much. I’m proudest of you for completing a voluntary assignment that no one else was interested in – that is what I recognize you two for most (more than winning first place in the contest).
See you next year…