Sunday, March 02, 2008

School is Hard

This is the time of the year when I always feel a little overwhelmed. QHST being annualized my relationships with my students are either on autopilot or reaching levels of unspeakable stress. Talk around school starts to focus on next year.

Who will be teaching what?
What schedule will we be using next year?
Who will not be returning?

How many new-hires will be joining us?
Are we meeting the needs of all learners?
Has the CTT model been working for teachers and students?

What are we doing wrong?
What can we fix before June? What will have to wait til next year?

What will summer school look like?

And then there are the seniors, they are stressing about college, or other post high school expectations. I must admit with the room changes this year, I teach in four different rooms, and the pressure from the DOE to make data driven decisions, I forget why I love teaching. Outside of school with the economy in disarray and a hotly debated presidential race and I seriously need to refocus.

What has saved me this year from sheer depression have been a couple of "ah ha emails". Former students feeling compelled to share their college experiences with me, or even asking me for help. Through these emails I've been invited to “sit in” on an undergrad class by a students who compares her current sociology class to her experience in my government class. Another student thanked me for going paperless senior year it helped her greatly making her transition to her current economics class.

QHST will never be the same year to year. Our family of students and parents changes and grows. Not becoming so overwhelmed with the here and now and focusing on the long term accomplishments helps me gather the energy to dive back into Mondays. Tuesday I start to look at data again, start to look at multiple failure lists, start to look at suspensions, start to look at attendance rates, exam scores, start to look at ID cards, hall passes, teacher time, credit accumulation, teacherease, IEPs, and will start to look once again at the day to day.

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