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Friday, May 15, 2009

The Seniors Have Left the Building (at least mentally)

Ah senioritis. It's that time of the year when the seniors have checked out, not physically, but mentally. They've developed an undeserved sense of accomplishment. They feel as though they deserve to graduate despite not actually having finished all of their work. And I can relate. It's not just the seniors that get senioritis. I think everyone begins to slow down at least a little when they see that light at the end of the tunnel. However, teaching a group of kids like that, period after period, gets hella annoying. I stand in front of my class and ask them to do something.

"Open your unit plans to page 37."

"Take ten mintues to write a thank-you note to your favorite teacher."

"Today we're going to review for a final exam."

And they cringe. Some scowl. "Don't you dare attempt to teach me anything." And I scowl back. "You ungrateful kids. The only reason I work you so hard is because I care." But that doesn't matter. And I hate it. I hate that I have worked so hard to develop such positive relationships with my students all year long only to see them learn to despise me in the last month. It turns into a power struggle every day, and it degrades the classroom atmosphere. So I try to make class more fun. Use more activities. Make the kids laugh more while I'm teaching. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm just sick of the kids who have checked out and are unwilling to put anything else into it.

Sigh.

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