June 01, 2009

School Year Wrap-up

This year 90 of the graduating seniors were my students. I'm so proud of them! Throughout the year they had many challenges. Life got in their way so many times. Some sailed through. Some crawled through, clinging to every last point they could. They all deserve their diplomas.

Until graduation night I had lost site of this accomplishment. There was too much drama and strife. I couldn't see the good from the bad. Thanks to the students I understand what I'm doing again. After graduation the seniors are allowed to pass out cards. Just generic cards that are printed at the school, but they write notes on them and them give them to the teachers/staff they chose. I received five. Not a large number, but two stood out. The first said that he'd never worked so hard, in a class, in his life. And the second came from an ELL student saying thank you for helping him find ways to connect to the literature that he has nothing in common with (i.e dead, white males). These two are awesome! The students also give out an award. This year they nominated me as Teacher of the Year. I know it's mostly just a popularity contest and that for at least 90 of the 120 graduates I was their make it or break it teacher, but this still rocks! I'm flattered that they thought enough of me and my class to vote for me. Now, I have a nifty certificate (framed and everything) that needs to find a place to live.

The end result made the whole process much more bearable, in the long run. I hope the things those 90 learned from me stick with them and them out in the future. They are bright. They deserve it!