The end of school is fast approaching and I indeed have survived unscathed and yes there is not one scratch, no skinned knees, not one bruise but a definite addiction to coffee is evident. Teaching high school English is a wonderful odyssey. Each year brings forth new discoveries, obstacles, conundrums and tears. Sure there are some academic triumphs that almost make it worth it. This week I am reading over student’s final written assignments. I actually assign stuff that I believe will elevate their learning experience and actually enlighten the student along the way. They hate it. They’re done with school and frankly I am hanging on savoring each moment with them.
Today I am reading their autobiographical pieces and I only wished I had assigned this particular writing sample at the beginning of the school year to provide more insight into the student but now that I reflect upon that I do not know if they would have written with such heart. Sure there are some students that are simplistic and perhaps on the vague side but on the other spectrum there are students that composed such poignant writing samples that it evoked deep sorrow and laughter. The mixed bag of emotions are as varied as the students enrolled in class. And now after reading some of their most personal thoughts and experiences I’m suppose to grade it? What was I thinking?
“Hm. This student wrote about their childhood pet named “Bob” that saved her life but had recently died after 16 years. C+. It lacked details.
or “Maybe you could have provided more names and vivid imagery when describing your Nana’s funeral last week. B- it just didn’t have a finished feeling.
“Super effort describing the time your parents divorced and you felt abandoned. Way to go. A- be sure you can demonstrate MLA required format.”
There are only two more days left before summer begins so in the meantime I will continue enjoying student work (aka samples of their true intellect and artistic sensibilities) and marvel at the “Super Stars” in the class who somehow have the time and talent to produce incredible student work. I shall miss these students! We had a wonderful school year together.
The odyssey continues…