It’s pretty amazing how fast three months can zip by. I havehad every intention of writing here but life keeps getting in the way so by thetime I think about writing a post, I’m worn out and resort to a shorter notationon social media.
With the school year winding down, my summer goals include postinghere more regularly, especially with the cool things coming.
But first, to review….
I have been busy writing and editing, planning, teaching,and grading. Deb and I have traveled, we’ve experienced some culture, had someexperiences, and stayed pretty active. Not having a dog at present has freed usin some ways, but casualties include my regularly walking the neighborhood andlistening to audiobooks. Plus, with Deb’s increased travel this year, the househas been lonely. We’ll be looking for a rescue in the early summer so we canbond before I return to the classroom in late August.
School has proven rather consuming, largely because I amteaching six courses instead of five with four preps. The loss of a planning periodcoupled with an increase in work to plan and then grade, means late hours on occasion.
There are two teaching days on the calendar although thereality is that the teaching ended on Friday. These next classes will be reviewfor finals, which begin on Thursday. My discipline’s final won’t be untilMonday, June 3, so I’ll be proctoring this week, grading next.
All year long, we have emphasized learning and retention ofinformation rather than treat their classwork as a series of tasks to complete,check off, and forget. Has it been successful? Nowhere near as much as I wouldhave liked. I continue to see the same fundamental spelling and grammar errorsthat I saw in August. I wish the sophomores were more engaged with the materialso they had more to say at the end of TheGreat Gatsby than “it was sad”.
The juniors I have taught for two straight years now alsodemonstrate the same sorts of errors. I felt a need to apologize to them forfailing to make them better writers in the time we had together, knowing fullwell it had more to do with their investment in their skills than my edits andcomments.
My honors class was the bright spot in the day, some verybright, friendly people but less prone to chat and debate as the classes I hadlast year.
This means this summer I will be thinking about how to dothings differently, how to penetrate their disinterest, and how to get them tobuy in that what I’m teaching is actually relevant to their lives. I recognizeI am far from alone in this feeling, but I can only control what happens in myroom. So, my teaching, like their learning, remains a work in progress.