The end of the school year. From a teacher in the trenches

I am feeling much better than last week.  My voice has returned, my energy has not.  I have an annoying cough that will probably take awhile before it goes away. As long as I don’t have a coughing fit in the middle of class, I’m good.

This is the most challenging time of year to teach.  The weather is getting hotter.  The students are ready to escape for the summer.  Getting and holding their attention is no small feat.  While some parents and educators bemoan the internationally popular fidget spinner, I think they’re a great distraction.  It also makes for good conversation in my grammar lesson: “I buy a fidget spinner.–I bought a fidget spinner.”

“I lose a fidget spinner.–I lost (not losted) a fidget spinner.”

“I spin…I spun (not spinned)”.

There are goals that I have yet to accomplish, so I will keep at it until the very end. I still can’t get the students to hear the difference in the pronunciation of ‘angry’ and ‘hungry’.  Though you may feel angry if you’re hungry, they’re two different words.  They know ‘angry birds’ so why is this so hard? What they (the boys’ classes mostly) have no trouble recalling and using is the f-word in many contexts.  It rolls off their tongue like water and quite honestly, I don’t even think they know what it is they are saying except it’s in movies and sounds cool.  To learn regular vocabulary is like pulling teeth for them to remember (my remedial kids), but mother-f–er, and f-this, and f-that is part of their everyday lingo. I can’t get them to eradicate the f-word from their vocabulary and as much as I tell them it’s a bad word, they continue to use it.

There are still plenty of memorable moments even with learning dropping off considerably. With the native English speakers class we’re starting a new chapter in our Wordly Wise book. I have never given much thought to “haughty” being mistaken for “hottie”,  but  I suppose to an 8th grader “hottie” is more commonly used.  Or the comment “Haughty means ‘a bitch’, right?” Well, sort of… gotta relate to their world sometimes.

All these little lessons in my control.  What I have no control over are things like administrative changes in the schedule.  With six weeks left of school, why did they decide to change the time and duration of the meal breaks? This is thoroughly confusing the students and staff.  Why did they decide to replace a door frame and door to my classroom in the middle of the school day with all the drilling and sawdust? Couldn’t they do this after school hours? I couldn’t teach a thing with the noise so I ended up going outside and tried to get the girls involved in doing the Hokey Pokey.  Not my original lesson plan, as we were going to learn about penguins, but I’m flexible that way.

That’s it from the trenches for this week.  I don’t teach on Thursdays, which is another change because my day off had been Monday the entire year.  I’m liking it and not liking it at the same time.

Let’s face it, learning for the year is done. I have to write a final exam and calculate grades. That’s it.

I’m going to be moving on to other endeavors soon and this will be my last few weeks in a classroom.  This chapter is closing but a new one will be opening and I’m looking ahead to many things, one of which is to not getting pegged by projectile objects.

If you have school-aged kids, those little end of year teacher appreciation notes mean a lot.  Just sayin’

Thanks for reading.

Karen, T.K.K.

 

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