Sunday, June 11, 2006

The End of a Year

well, the kids have all gone home for the final time. exams have been taken. grade bubble sheets have been filled in (i will rant on this topic shortly). classrooms are being un-decorated. files are being boxed up. useless crap is being effectively recycled. and it seems only fitting that i take the time to reflect on the entire year that has passed.

i am still in shock that an entire year has taken place. academic or otherwise, a large chunk of time has gone by with me living in the south. i have yet to shake the feeling of being on some sort of strange extended vacation. don't get me wrong. i get up every day, i go to work, i have my routine. but somehow i lack the feeling of connection here. like i don't yet belong entirely. but i am not sure if this is a feeling that i have had anywhere.

i love my job. as much as i may bitch about kids, or paperwork, i enjoy what i do each day. there is no repetition of daily tasks. yes, i do get up every day and stand before a group of kids, but it isn't the same as answering phone calls and sending faxes...not like the other jobs i have had.

there is a great deal to be said for the variety of technological advances that have been made in the world. corporations and buisness have mountains of them. yet you would be amazed at how few of these advancements have managed to trickle into the public schools. there is no exporting of grades to produce report cards-- no no, i have to fill in a mountain of scan sheets so that some computer can go f-up all the data. it is a battle to get good, functional computers into a classroom. forget getting enough data-projectors into the school so that teachers can use powerpoint and other means of presenting to add interest into lessons. teachers have no integrated means of grading, taking attendance, and interfacing with other teachers about students. testing situations still leave mountains to be desired- a dream world would negate the scantron sheets in favor of computer based tests. in any case, there is alot that i would love to get into my classes, but one will have to wait and see what comes.

one of the best parts...the kids. shocking as it may be, spending the last year living the thug life was actually enjoyable. there were those who made me want to rip my hair out with frustration. but the kids who figured out how to pass, how to make it work, what to do, and how to do it...they are the ones who made it worthwhile. the kids who walked in on thursday and friday and hugged me to say thank you, those are the kids i have the most hope for.

i have a great fear though from this whole year. that would be that i did some form of disservice to my students. that they don't know enough chemistry to survive anything that they may face in the future. that is my worry.

i know that my class was far easier than that of the other chemistry teachers, that i bent far more than i probably should have. i have to hope that i have learned something from this year. that i know what i can expect next year and will be better prepared to face it.

more, as always, is yet to come