It was a long and busy week. I’m glad it’s Friday.
Midterms started and my freshmen ranged in emotion from panic to overconfidence as they approached their first exam. I posted a sign on the door to enter quietly because testing was in progress and we spent the day whispering. There was lots of re-reading the directions and encouragement to do your best.
In the end I think I made a bigger deal of the test than they did.
The semester is drawing to a close and my seniors with half-year courses had research projects to finish. Books and articles to read, papers to write, presentations to give. There was major procrastination and I sat there, reading over their shoulders, editing, and trying to spark some sense of urgency to finish it all in time.
I told them that I go to sleep every night with a list of all the work they need to do running through my head, and they laughed because I definitely make a bigger deal of their projects than they do.
I had parent meetings and IEP’s to write. Paperwork and organizing and emailing and trying to keep everyone and everything on track all at the same time.
And I had paper cuts. Two of them, one on each hand. I hate those little things.
Like I said, I’m glad it’s Friday.
Truth is, it wasn’t a bad week. It was an exhausting week, but I left today feeling (for the most part) successful.
When people ask me how I like my new(ish) teaching job, I often say that there are pros and cons. I miss teaching biology since it is near and dear to my heart. And I miss being able to plan and teach full lessons. But I like the small group setting in the resource room and the ability it gives me to really connect to the students more personally.
It’s hard to balance everything with my students… keeping track of all that they have going on and all that they might need. It’s tough to have those days when I feel like I’ve put so much more effort into their success than they have. It’s hard to find ways to inspire and motivate.
But when it works? Well, that’s a pretty good feeling, even if it doesn’t happen every day!
I doubt they realize how much I care about them. I’m sure they sometimes see me as annoying… bugging them to finish their work, hovering over their shoulder to make sure they stay on task. But I so want to see them succeed. I want them to have as much desire and motivation as I have for them. I want them to take responsibility for their work, for their actions, for their future. I want them to be proud of what they accomplish.
Maybe they will, and maybe they won’t. They have to make the choice. They have to make the effort. But I hope to inspire and encourage them as best I can… through midterms and projects and paper cuts and whatever else may come!