I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Set Things Straight...Now

"I'm sorry for getting upset with you the other day in class. Please forgive me. - Miss Foyle"

A simple, short note on a post-it - that's it. I'm not sure if I needed to ask for forgiveness or not (she hadn't followed directions I'd repeated about 10 times), but that's not really the point.

As we reach the final days of school before summer vacation, I believe it is so important to end on a positive note. Therefore, if there's anything left unsaid or anything the students want to do that's left unfinished, the time to do it is NOW. The kiddos will remember what happened most recently as they walk out those school doors this week, and they'll remember how their teachers made them feel (again, most recently, I'm pretty sure). And since the overall year was a positive experience, why not make an extra effort to imprint that experience in their memories?

Here's another example:
Students have had the opportunity throughout most of the school year to do Genius Hour presentations for the last 10-15 minutes of class, depending on how much time we are able to give on any given day. Last week, one of my students presented on a summer camp experience. He was in the middle of sharing some trinkets and treasures from camp when we had to cut him short due to the class's end. (He had presented for about 10 minutes.)
Later that week, I gave a couple of other students 15 minutes to present, so the student (whose time had been cut short) told me he was upset (and we're talking about a kid who NEVER appears to be upset) because he had less time and didn't finish while these other students had more time (and ended with time to spare). I wasn't sure what to do, so I thought about it for a time that day before realizing that I needed to make time this final week of school so he can get his final 5 minutes to share. After all of his GH presentations this year, I don't want him to walk away with a sour memory of the experience. When I told him he can have five more minutes next week, he was very grateful and acted like I'd given him a million bucks. Therefore, I feel like that was the right thing to do.

By no means am I saying we should be giving in to students right and left. All I'm saying is that sometimes you need to set things straight before it's too late. (I hope all my rambling has made sense!)

To all my teacher friends, summer is almost (or, perhaps already for some) here! Stay strong through the finish line...

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