Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saying goodbye to the high-schoolers

I told my 10th-graders that I won't be around next year because I will be moving to Central America, and I could swear that a quarter of them asked, "Where's that?"

Another handful asked, "Does that mean you won't be at this school anymore?"


I relayed this story to some teachers, and told them that I am giving the kids the benefit of the doubt in assuming that they hadn't heard me the first time. But, one seventh-grade teacher said that a good number of her 7th-graders can't figure out where North America is on a world map, even after filling out South America correctly. --WHAT??!! Doubly scary.


Afterwards, a few of the 10th-graders were pretty upset. I was surprised, honestly. I was the least experienced of their teachers this year, and I wasn't expecting any real emotion from them following my announcement. A few kids made me promise to come back in two years for their graduation. I will actually try to do that, because some of them I have taught for two years (in 8th grade and again in 10th), and it would really mean something to see them graduate on time.


In other news, tomorrow will be my last instructional day with the 10th-graders. After that, they will get two weeks off to prepare for their Regents exams (content-specific exams they have to pass in order to graduate from high school). I have prepared an end-of-year evaluation form for them to fill out, because I think that as I get further into my teaching, feedback from students can and should be factored into my own assessment of my performance. But, I'm anxious! This is the first time I am doing any such thing, and I don't really know what to expect. Their comments can be very cruel, or very helpful/insightful. I really have no idea.

All in all, teaching 10th-graders has been a fairly bumpy ride this year, it being my first real exposure to older kids. I have had to really go out of my comfort zone to ask other more experienced teachers for advice to keep these jaded young adults in control. But, it has definitely taught me a thing or two about dealing with older kids, and hopefully my transition to EA will be a smooth one next year. :)

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