Not Half Bad!
It’s finals week at my school and that means we (students and teachers) are wrapping up our first semester and finalizing grades. I have to admit that after typing that sentence, I am resisting my immense urge to yell out, “FINALLY!” Let's just say it’s been an abnormally challenging first semester with some of my students. Apart from the other classes I teach (2 AP Lit and 3 credit recovery classes), I have three 9th grade English classes. Collectively, these three 9th grade classes have about 90 students…and all but 8 of them are boys. Suffice it to say these little fresh-bros have really kept me on my toes this year (they’ve also kept me from having a normal-smelling classroom, but that’s to be expected when your students’ only views on daily personal hygiene are either “3 full cans of Axe body spray” or what the French would call, “odeur naturelle”).
As I mentioned in a previous post, I try to look for all the good that has happened at the end of every class to keep me from feeling negative or anxious over all of the failed or even not-quite-perfect moments that tend to drive me crazy. As the semester winds down, I wanted to take a moment with you to reflect on some of the best/most positive things that I have experienced as an educator so far this year. Think of this post as a New Year’s retrospective for educators and, possibly, severe procrastinators.
Now, rather than taking up your time by asking you to read all of my typed-out memories like some sort of Mitch Albom memoir, I’m going to post photos of some of my best/favorite moments of my school year so far. With the extra time you would normally spend reading my blog—which is roughly 6 minutes per post (according to my website’s analytics tool), and, not-coincidentally, the average length of time a person needs to evacuate their bowels [insert Kermit drinking tea meme]—I’m asking you to share your positive reflections from your first semester in the comments section below. If you don’t have a specific story to share, you can simply share the biggest lesson(s) you have learned from this semester. These reflections/lessons learned can be long-winded (like my posts usually are), or they can be short and sweet (like you all wish my posts would be). The length is irrelevant—which is exactly the kind of statement I’ve learned to not make in front of a class filled with 9th grade boys who love to yell out, “That’s what she said!”
What is important is that, as a community, we share and celebrate our victories and moments of growth, no matter how big or small. If you don’t feel like sharing your own reflection/lesson learned, you should absolutely comment on someone else’s shared reflection/lesson learned (after all, this blog is supposed to be a conversation starter)! I’ll get the ball rolling by sharing one of my biggest lessons learned from the last 5 months:
The greatest impact you have on your students or coworkers can (and usually does) happen in the least expected moments.
Did I not make it clear that you should definitely share your reflections/lessons learned in the comments section below? Man, I need to work on my communication skills! Please share or give a comment below!!