Thursday, May 19, 2011

Counting the Days

With all the drama surrounding teacher evaluations and Regents exams over the past few days, maybe you've forgotten that summer is sneaking up on us pretty quickly...

HA HA! Of course you haven't forgotten! You've not forgotten, if for no other reason than your increasingly restless and/or sullen students remind you that they are counting every second of every minute of every day until they don't have to show up anymore. And if you teach seniors, God bless you. I know those who are sure of their graduation from my school are mentally and, in some cases, physically checked out already.

I continue to agonize over my lessons; more so, in fact, because my students are getting harder and harder to engage. They need to have rigorous and meaningful work to do for these last couple of weeks; if we as teachers cop out and go along with their creeping ennui, it just creates a vicious circle. That's not to say that the students will thank us now or even in July, but eventually they'll appreciate being challenged right up to the last day. I hope.

But those of us who teach high school are down to less than twenty instructional days, and I can't imagine I'm the only teacher in the city desperately trying to figure out how to keep my babes awake and not killing each other for this last stretch. What do you think? What keeps students hooked in as summer's siren call grows louder?
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