Hearing No and Saying Yes

The school year is coming to a close and along with it the feelings of exhaustion, elation, relief, and bittersweet sadness that usually accompany these sorts of transitions for me.

This year the whirlwind of the last days of school has been even stronger for me. I’m getting married the day after school ends. Crazy timing, many would suggest, but the benefit has been that my anxiety hasn’t had time to pool around any one detail or concern for very long.

The joy of this season has been accompanied by the sadness of hearing that I won’t be teaching my high school blended learning class again next year. It’s been one of the great joys and challenges of my teaching experience for the past four years. I love the way that the class has given students an opportunity to explore their passions and “rehabilitated” some previously self-described history haters. Because of an increase in the number of blended learning classes offered next year, only enough students for one section enrolled in the history course. The upper school history department didn’t have enough classes for a full load for all upper school teachers, so, because I am primarily a middle school teacher already with a full load, the blended learning class will be taught by an upper school teacher who taught the second section of the course this year.

It’s a decision that makes total sense financially for the school and the other teacher brings a wealth of ideas and knowledge to the course. I look forward to doing whatever I can to support him. I am sad, however, that I won’t make the trek across campus twice a week to meet with a group of thoughtful, inquisitive, sometimes challenging high school students.

Hearing no to¬†one thing always means the opportunity and ability to say yes to something else. While I don’t know for certain, where those yeses will come, I look forward to seeing what the new (school) year holds. My 7th grade colleague and I are going to be adding a mini-unit on Ancient Rome to our World History course, and I’m planning to do some re-shaping of the Supreme Court simulation for my 8th grade US History class. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to eating awesome Mexican food and gluten-free cheesecake at my wedding and reading, hiking, and watching movies with my (soon-to-be) husband this summer.

Death By Lecture

Before my Upper School History class met for the first time, I asked them to complete a quick info form, so I could get a better sense of them as students. I wordled the responses to a couple of the questions.

EDIT: I want to note that the sample size for this was 11, and I’m not suggesting it’s empirical research. Just food for thought/conversation.

When do you feel most checked out/bored/uninterested in school?

When do you feel most engaged/interested/curious in school?