Wednesday, May 6, 2015

An exhausted blogger tries to write a post

I'm having a very hard time recovering from a grueling 27-week stretch at school. I've noticed this week that I'm having a hard time getting to work promptly. I'm still on time, but in the teachers' world on time really means before one has to be at work. I'm getting there when I'm obligated to be there, but not when I normally get there. Fatigue, momentum (inertia?) are powerful forces for students, as they are for teachers.

But there are some signs I'm getting things right.

The above Post-It was left on my desk by an intelligent and inquisitive young woman who has been with me all year. When stumped as to what to do for a Law project, and when she offered that she's intrigued by issues of justice across national borders, I recommended she watch Dear Zachary. This was the response. I love watching a student like this think for the next six weeks.

Compliments like this are pretty weighty.

The above compliment might be the most satisfying vindication of my work. I have made real strides making my classroom a more engaging place. I pride myself on the tone I set. I also took a lot of risks in what I permitted in my classroom this year. I appreciate how this student gets what I've been trying to do. Ironically, a step in the direction of "not treating [students] as 1st grade children" was going to an elementary school / home school supply store and getting bins filled with highlighters, Post-Its, and colored pencils.

A student's summation of what he learned from an online simulation as to how one can balance the federal budget. Lesson accomplished. 
That's all for now.