No more Mondays left! What a relief. This week is a full five-day week, next week is Memorial Day and finals, and then I’m done, done, done for a glorious summer of…well okay, my summer is actually fairly busy, what with having a baby and all, but at least I’ll save a little on gas.
My students got through all their state and AP testing and I am impressed to say that, at least among my Advanced Placement students, their work attitude should carry them through the end of the year. I’ve heard from most of the other teachers that their students have virtually checked out, which is rough for final projects and exams that count for 20% of their semester grade. I’m worried that several of my English 3 students won’t finish their projects – college or career portfolios – in time for next week’s final exam time, especially with end-of-year absences. One difference on our campus this year is the introduction of exam exemptions for seniors if they miss no more than two days of school per semester. As a result of this resurrected policy, the senior teachers are seeing an uptick in their attendance – although not necessarily the corresponding uptick in work ethic. I guess I can be thankful none of my students come to the computer lab and drool into the keyboard while they nap…
This upcoming year will be an interesting one. With several retirements and resignations around the school, combined with new state testing requirements, many teachers are getting moved around the master schedule next year. I will keep my AP and junior English classes, and possibly pick up one section of World History next year. When I did my alternative teaching licensing program through Harvard, my focus area was on social studies; I only took the English test as a backup. I never intended to teach English (though I’ve had fun so far). Therefore, I’m excited to get the chance to keep the classes I already know while trying something more in my field of interest. My department head wisely cautioned me that picking up a third prep with a newborn may not be my brightest idea ever, but I am (perhaps unreasonably) excited for the chance. Since my husband’s army career always leaves our living arrangements a little unstable, I might only get to teach at this school for another year, so at least I’m not signing up for long term crazy – only eight months or so. When we move, I will have both history and English on my resume and hopefully a better chance to teach those subjects at my next district.
My students are plugging away at updating resumes, writing college essays, completing the Common Application, requesting letters of recommendation, and gathering other needed materials for their college application process in the fall. For many of them, this is the moment it has suddenly felt real – within the next six months, most of them will have applied, and hopefully accepted, to college. I’m proud of them, but also nervous – we’ve done so much this year, but I feel like they still have so far to go. I do look forward to seeing my class of 2015 walk across the stage next spring. They were my first class as sophomores, then I saw them again as juniors. I’m glad to get to see them finish this chapter of their lives and start the next one.