#12 Three Important Things To Make The End of The Year Manageable (with musical accompaniment)! #Edblogaday

I had a hard day today.  It was capped off with my 9th graders electing to just toss their laptops into the cart in a pile rather than storing and plugging them in as we have been doing since SEPTEMBER.  It made me so angry and disappointed on so many levels.  I kept the kids, telling them that they would all be losing their laptop privileges for the remainder of the year.  However if the responsible parties came forward and took responsibility for the lapse in judgment, I would reevaluate.  And at that, I let them go.

Two young men came up to me right after class and took responsibility explaining what they did and where the error in judgment had come into play.  I thanked them for their honesty, expressed my disappointment and that I would need to think about the consequence for the choice- which ultimately will be that they will manage and monitor the laptops for the remainder of the year, a good job for both boys.

Moments like these are good reminders for teachers, that the year is coming to an end, kids and teachers alike are tired and mistakes will be made, on both parts.  I offer three things to help us all get through the remainder of the school year.

1.  Try a little tenderness.  Take a moment, breathe through those tough times that push you to your limit and step back.  99% of the time, it is just a misstep, not a deliberate choice.  Be tender, with yourself, with your kids, with your colleagues.  You will be all the better for it.



2. Find moments to celebrate.  I don't know if you are like me, but I have been with ALL my classes ALL year long.  No mid semester change.  We are ALL tired of each other.  Bring in treats, put some music on and have a mid class dance break, give kids awards for non academic endeavors.  Anything that brings smiles to your faces.  Celebrate with your colleagues too.  I know we just closed out teacher appreciation week- but if you are anything like I am, celebrations, especially in the next month will be life savers!

3. RELEASE & LET GO.  At some point you have to surrender and ride the wave.  Don't fight it.  Especially if your year culminates in two weeks of testing as it does for all NY high school students.  It's a tremendous amount of pressure for students and teachers.  Elaborate tutoring schedules are created, teachers give up afternoons and Saturdays to spend that extra time to help our highest need kids have a better shot at doing well.  I don't know if you are like me, but I want kids to do well, so much so that I get stressed out about it.  It think some of this is carry over from years in alternative schools where passing these exams was a HUGE deal, not just a hurdle to get over.  At some point, you have to let go.  You have done all that you can and it is time to let our kids rise to the occasion and do what they ARE prepared for.  In most cases it is success.  If it isn't, well cross that bridge when you come to it.


Comments

  1. Meredith,
    Another stunning, heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing. They are all important--numbers 1 & 2, especially for me in Kindergarten. There is not too much stress in KG testing, thank God!

    I read a post yesterday you might like. In fact, you might run with the #thankastudent plan. It reminded me of what you said in #2. We do need to find reasons to celebrate this next few weeks. Bless you as you do! Here is Ben Dickson's post on #thankastudent. I think you'll enjoy it!

    Denise

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