It was a pretty good year, I think. I had fewer preparedness hurdles to jump, though I have a penchant for wanting to change things up every year (which I think is a good thing, otherwise it becomes too rote for me and not catered to the students). I've got some good ideas for next year (I'm adding at least one book in every class, though I'm also taking some away) and I'm starting to feel like I'm a part of the school. I'll even miss those kids--though not enough that I wanted to teach any summer classes.
Highlights (in honor of Beth's list--congratulations on a successful first year, kid!):
1) A student (the last to turn her final in) stops at the door and says, "That essay question really made me sit back and think. It was like, 'Whoa.' You're pretty good at your job." Hey thanks!
2) Dead fish in the ceiling tiles. Thank you, graduating seniors.
3) No teachers married students this year. Maybe our school should get one of those boards like they have at factories: "365 days without a student/faculty marriage!"
4) A student comes in after the weekend, rolls her eyes in my general direction, and says, "Well, you ruined my weekend. Thanks for calling my mom and telling her I hadn't turned in my essay. I was grounded!" You're welcome.
5) State champs in like 5 sports. I was never really into that stuff in high school, but as a teacher I feel so proud of those kids! Especially the ones who struggle in class but shine on the field.
6) Um, no, parents, I'm 29 years old and have no kids. I don't have awesome suggestions for raising your son. Sorry about that.
7) I got my first call where a student listed me as a reference for a job hunt (though I do wish she'd told me about it first). Still, I felt like a grown-up for about two minutes there.
8) Remembering that that same student from number seven was someone I had yelled at first semester for trying to pull a fast one regarding extra credit attendance. We healed and moved on, clearly.
9) Stayed out of major faculty conflicts again!
10) Learning that the party favor section at Wal-Mart is prime location for finding contest prizes for my class projects (who knew tenth graders would be so excited about $0.50 Speed Racer yo-yo's?).
11) Being impressed again by so many kids. I tell you, this is a rewarding job, even though some days it's terrible too.
12) Realizing that my brain is so fried right now that I can't remember the best stuff. I need to do better blogging so that this doesn't happen!
By the way, summer in Georgia? It's like someone turned the fires of hell from "bake" to "broil" and then to "melt steel." Just a walk around the block is ridiculous (and also bad for my bald head). I think that YWCA membership is going to come in handy. And I think yard work is all going to have to stop by 9 a.m. Hope the neighbors don't mind hearing a lawn mower at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow!