Monday, January 13, 2014

the final countdown

Senioritis:  A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation. ~Urban Dictionary

My seniors come back from Christmas break wishing it was over.  They hear from colleges and start to make plans for the rest of their lives, lives that rarely include high school.  They need it to end. 

As a teacher I used to wear myself out letting the seniors' attitudes drive me crazy.  But now in my later years, I've come to know it's not about me.  Second semester doesn't signify the end of anything for me.  I plan to be back next year.  After 27 years of teaching, this is just another semester.

I plan to keep going.  I will teach every day, assign homework, give tests and quizzes, create projects and novel activities.  What the seniors do does not change my plans or my attitude.  They will not turn in homework sometimes. They will do poorly on tests and quizzes.  Their grades will drop.  I will try to encourage them and attempt to remind them that it's the finish that counts.  Some will hear me.  Some will ignore me.  I do not control the behavior of others.

We are on a modified block schedule, and I have about 60 days of classes left with my seniors.  That's 60 days to teach them about math and about life.  There's 60 days to enjoy their company and their teenagerness.  On any given day I'm never sure if they will laugh or cry. 

60 days is an eternity for my seniors, but for me, it's not enough.  These days will crawl in their minds and fly by in mine.  They can't wait to be gone.  I long for them to stay. 

I always tell them it's not over until I say it's over. It's not over yet.  But it is the final countdown. 

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