Notice that the educational end of the blog has been absent of late. Notice that I’m intentionally avoiding talk of the end of the 2012 school year. Notice that I’m really looking forward to the end of the year.
The end of the year is a time of reflection for a teacher. It is a time when we look back and take a look at what worked, what didn’t, and how to make things better for next year. Only we do it later. Much later. Because the end of the school year is also a danger zone. It’s the half-finished Death Star waiting for you to come on down while the Emperor giggles hysterically about your insignificant rebellion. If you aren’t careful you’ll end up smashed between the shield of Year’s End and the Star Destroyers of reality; you’ll be pulverized into a bloody mess that will make you question the sanity of why you decided to take a job in which everyone you meet shakes their head while saying “Bless you child, I couldn’t do that job.” So at this point the main point of school is prioritizing. With Seniors, that prioritizing means keeping students very engaged, responding promptly to e-mails from freaked out parents, and trying my best to ignore those eye-rolling Seniors that feel like life is rough because they are still in high school. The latter only represents about 2% of the overall population of my Senior group, but they are also the most attention starved kiddies of the classroom.
The trap of Year’s End is also the negativity that slams into just about every member of the school staff. Everything that has gone wrong is someone else’s fault and there are plenty of people to explain it too you. Our Superintendent is moving on and has taken the brunt of the blame for the ills of our district. Not a week went by this year when someone was comparing her to some current dictator. It became ridiculous, as if everything in our classroom has something to do with what the District is doing. In the end, this is still here:
The fiscal future is not all that bright, no matter how much we want to blame/complain/avoid our responsibilities.
We are all just-plain-tired and the blame game is really easy to become a part of. At the end if the year, while students are happily planning for the next step in their lives, teachers are planning to get through the rest of the year and finally get a few moments of rest. Engagement of the students is absolutely key and ending the year on a high note will make the summer a bit more relaxing. Avoid negative nancys, finish strong, enjoy summer.