Wednesday, May 28, 2008

in the books and ready for the next...

Well the 07-08 school year has officially come to an end. Like I wrote in a previous post, time is kind of funny because right as I was thinking it would never end, it eventually did like all rough things.

But just like how time is a funky thing to wrap your mind around, memory is also a funny prankster. This was definitely a tough year with no real teaming, obnoxious kids, over crowding, absent admin support, etc, etc, etc. But now that it is over and I sit here looking back, it feels like it really was not all that bad. I am not sure if this fits into the cliche of "what does not kill you makes you stronger" but I really do feel that I am a better teacher after coming out of this year.

I guess the thing that made it all worthwhile was the promotion ceremony we had the last day. What really took me by surprise was that as they were announcing all of the 8th grade teacher's names and they got to mine, there was this pretty cool swell of hoops and hollers and cheers. Even though I do not look at it as a competition and I do not mean this to sound conceded but it blew me away how much louder it was for me than it was for the other teachers.

Now I make a point to tell all of my students the very first day of class that I am not there to be liked and if you end up not liking me, that is fine by me - I am not their friend, I am their teacher. But as selfish as it is to say, it really moved me to hear that overall the kids really did like me even with my high expectations, demanding requirements and holding them accountable every step of the way. But even as strict as I am, I am very careful to be as fair as possible and I try to treat them with the same respect that I expect them to show me. I think this makes all the difference.

Well now it is time to look ahead to next year. The 7th graders have repeatedly warned us in how tough this group is and that we better be prepared. And the really funny thing is that even with the warnings, I am pretty excited for 75 days from now when my next batch of kids come into my class.