Thursday, June 24, 2010

Let summer begin!

The much anticipated last day of school has arrived and now summer has officially begun. I can't believe I have survived 20 weeks of student teaching, roughly 300 periods of instruction, six incidents of cheating (with formal reports), numerous hours of after-school and lunch-time tutoring sessions, and five months of working weekdays and weekends for FREE.

Yesterday after my Algebra 1 class took their final exam and they were progressively getting louder and louder as the clock ticked away the final minutes of their last freshman (in a few cases, sophomore) math class of the year, I reflected on how the last day of school is seems so different as a single subject teacher (in a high school) than as a lower elementary school teacher. Both 'Shroom and Lolli have been getting excited for this last day and the ramp up to this day was preceeded with parties, special school events, concerts, work-free days, etc.

When that bell rang, my Algebra 1 students BOLTED out the door and my "have a great summer!' was lost in the chaos and noise of the students fleeing the building as if it were on fire.

Later on that afternoon as I drove home, I thought "wow - I don't even feel sentimental about these kids." No lump in the throat, no sadness in the heart, no thoughts of "oh, they weren't so bad after all" (quite the opposite), no hugs, not even a good-bye from one single student. I don't think there was a single connection I made or experienced in that class short of one boy earlier in the semester.

Well, I didn't pick teaching for the lovey dovey feelings or for the anticipated appreciation from students. Just the same, it seemed like a rather disappointing end to a rather difficult semester with this class.

In the meantime, I'm losing no sleep over this. Summer has begun! Yay!

[Up until this day, I've always thought students were more excited about summer vacation than parents and teachers. Today I've realized how wrong I was in that assumption]

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The end is in sight

Originally uploaded by radioflyer007

On this Sunday night, I'm prepping my last lesson for this school year. I can't believe I've survived 19 weeks of student teaching. Barely.

It's quite ironic that my worst day of teaching this semester was just this past Friday, thanks to my freshman Algebra 1 class. I won't go into the details of that nightmare class from hell. What I will say is that I had a substitute in the room the other week (master teacher was out for the day so sub was there for the other classes), and after my 4th period class was dismissed to lunch, the sub had told me "Wow, that is one disrespectful class." No kidding.

Anyway, I was planning on baking cookies for my students for the last day of classes before final exams. Well, as you can see from the cookie cooling racks, there's not enough cookies for 90 students. It's because I've changed my mind and find my students rather undeserving of cookies (and for many of them, any letter grade higher than a D). The cookies Lolli and 'Shroom and sniffing are for my 6th period class - my best class (okay, a couple of cookies are reserved for 'Shroom and Lolli - that would just be mean if I gave them all away without saving any for them).

I'll spend part of the summer reflecting on these past 20 weeks and see what thoughts and ambitions I have in this field of education. But for now, I guess I could sum it up by borrowing a few of Manny Ramirez's words (as the Red Sox left fielder):

"They're tired of me. I'm tired of them. They don't deserve me."

[P.S. I've re-entered the blogosphere! Effective immediately, the blogging code of silence has now been lifted!]