Category: teaching

When I ask who is ready for summer

Day One Hundred Seventy-Nine

Today was the last day of regular classes for our underclassmen, which means it was the day multi-genre projects were due. This is my half to grade:

Each project has four different pieces of work (expressive, informational, opinion, graphic) and full MLA citations. Each piece was drafted and revised at least once, sometimes two or three times. Most students cite a half dozen sources or more; some have over twenty sources. 

Don’t ever let anyone tell you June is a throwaway month and you can’t keep students motivated to learn.

Mrs. T and I know better. 

And we are wizards.

We both gave students time to work and/or review for finals before delivering our last lessons today, and that was that. We’re proud of how proud our students were to hand those projects in! Like, we had three boys stay a couple minutes late to get their work printed, and they were grinning and high-fiving as they left. Stuff like that makes my day.

Bonus Day

The Class of 2018 graduated yesterday. It was a gorgeous, breezy, sunny day. The student speakers gave lovely speeches (the last one, made by one of my APUSGOV girls, called on everyone to work to change immoral policies- ie separating families at the border- and got a standing ovation).

A few hours after the ceremony ended, Project Grad began! It was SUCH a fun trip: bowling, laser tag, and bumper cars at Dover Bowl; trampoline fun at Blitz Air; a party cruise in Boston Harbor; an early morning at Storyland. On the bus rides in between, I played DJ and raffled off Amazon gift cards (anywhere from $20 to $100). I have to give props to the parents who did the fundraising and planning for all of that!

It is bittersweet to say goodbye to this big-hearted class, but as I said before, the wide world is going to be so lucky to get to know them next!

When I tell students not to worry too much abo…

When the principal tries to come into my class…


Day One Hundred Seventy-Eight

Today was the last day of class for half of my students. Monday will be the last day for the other half. Then it’s just finals. 

I gave students the option to work on their multi-genre projects or prep for the final, and made myself available to edit pieces or offer help. Then, in the last five minutes, I showed them a “year in review” sort of video I had made, which ended with my last lesson. 

What was that lesson?

“You are the next world-changers.”

That, more than anything, is what I want them to know. I thanked them for the year, said goodbyes, gave a few hugs, and that was that.

I ran to the grocery store after work to grab something to bring to a graduation party. I ran into one of the graduating seniors, a girl who’d been in my class as a ninth grader. She told me she’s studying social studies/secondary ed. in college because of World. 

The party I went to was hosted by a group of girls I absolutely loved getting to know over the years. They were all in at least one of my classes and/or on the track team. All of my APUSGOV girls were there, and you all know how amazing they are. They’re smart, and kind, and determined to do good things, and, man, they just shine so brightly.

I am SO glad that they’re part of my life, and the wide world is going to be so lucky to get to know them next.

When there are only a few more class days left…

All teachers can do is:


Day One Hundred Seventy-Seven

It’s a late entry because I just got home from a political event. I got to see the candidates and staffers I’ve met through APUSGOV, and make some new connections- which is the point of going. I’m not a big networker, really, but I’ve been learning… 

Anyways. My school day was good. Mrs. T and I wrapped up writing conferences with the set of students we had today, and helped kids prepare for our finals. I know I’ve sounded a bit like a broken record these past few entries, but it’s all going so smoothly (here’s hoping I didn’t just jinx it). Our last days of classes are tomorrow and Monday- followed by four days of finals- and it’s still kind of hard to believe. 

Graduation rehearsal happened this afternoon, and some of my APUSGOV kids came by to say thanks. I got a gift card to a local restaurant from one, which is so nice! I will seriously miss that awesome little crew…

But! I will see them at graduation and on Project Grad, so that’s good. 

When a student explains why they don’t want to…

Day One Hundred Seventy-Six

Multi-genre projects are due on Monday, so most students spent World/English today making revisions and putting everything together. We have a few who are behind, or need to make significant changes to their work, so Mrs. T and I have been helping them as much as possible. We’ve both done parent contacts, too (another thing we can split in half), so hopefully that’ll produce some results.

I try not to get frustrated about having to do that (which is hard because, at this point, it feels like the year just didn’t stick for some students). Having Mrs. T to talk to is so helpful since we’re in this together. And there is SO MUCH incredible work, and it represents tons of growth, and that’s well worth celebrating. 

I spent my prep time finding excuses to go to the air conditioned parts of the building- like the main office…I checked my mailbox a lot- because it was hot. Thankfully, tomorrow it will be cooler!