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Second Year

Posted on Nov 5, 2016 by in School/Teaching | 0 comments

This school year is infinitely better than last year.

I was hoping for a fresh start this year, and I got it. Thank you, Lord.

However, at this point in the year, I do find I have a certain amount of teaching fatigue.  It could be that I just finished walking my English 3 class through a research paper.  After two weeks of carefully walking them through the process of crafting a defensible thesis, finding reliable sources, writing a detailed outline, and citing their sources down to the minutest details, conversations like this happen on due date:

Student: Will you look this over and see if it looks good?

Me: Well, you have zero in-text citations, so that is a problem.

Student: Oh yeah, I have those down here. Scrolls down to Works Cited page

Me: face in palm

So there’s moments like that.  And then there are other moments that keep me going.  Like when a parent tells me that though he would never admit it at school, her son has been talking about The Crucible and his research nonstop at home.  Or when I’m sitting in a class of students quietly at work typing away at their research papers or reading their personal-choice books for class.  Or when students send me links to favorite-teacher blogs or content they know I would like.

I’m inspired by their courage sometimes.  I have an elective class this year, Psychology in Literature. We’ve done a lot of talking about mental health, and I secretly wondered how much they would balk if I set up a mock group-therapy session.  One day, on the heels of a very productive discussion about what to do with our anger, a student actually asked if we could have group therapy.  I had never mentioned it.

So we circled up our chairs and we did it. Every student but one participated and even requested to do it again the following week.  At first, they giggled and interrupted one another, but it only took one time of explaining the rules of group therapy for them to adapt.  They listened to one another, took turns, and shared boldly.  The hour flew by with students both reflecting and connecting in a safe setting.

Traditionally, late October going into November can be a time of fatigue for teachers. We’re tired. The end is not yet in sight.  If you think of an encouragement for your child’s teacher, let them know.  We’re grateful.



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