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written Sunday, 7/8/2007

What now?

Hooray for nothingness!

Except for some nagging tasks that I kept putting off in recent months, my schedule through July is relatively empty.

So this is the time of year in teaching that, according to popular argument, justifies the lousy salary, countless unpaid overtime, employment instability, and numerous other crappy aspects of the job. I admit that I finally started to somewhat enjoy myself near the end of my second year, and I’m thankful that I’ll be returning to Lusher next school year (barring any disasters, tropical or otherwise). I may not be receiving a paycheck right now, but I’m gonna start thoroughly enjoying some good ol’ fashioned slothfulness.

End of school year

My last journal entry led into finals week, which was thankfully pretty uneventful. While this was an anxious time for many students, my stress level had already begun to mellow out. All I had to do was administer and grade the exams, calculate and record the quarter grades, and pack up and clean my classroom. I found time amongst these activities to reflect on the happenings of the 2006-2007 school year, and look ahead to how we might improve the coming year.

There will always be some students who fall short of their potential in my class. I hope to reach a point where I still care enough to encourage them to do better, but don’t let any lack of successes weigh me down too much.

Thankfully there were a number of kids who made me extremely proud, and those are the impressions that shape my mood the most as I look back on my first year at Lusher. Some, who I’ve written about previously, learned about the rewarding payoff of diligence and perseverance. Some others suffered their share of personal challenges, and I’d like to believe I’ve comforted them a little along the way while still holding them accountable to their responsibilities as students. Seeing kids grow and mature through the course of a school year is probably the most fulfilling aspect of this job.

I’m finding this summer break to be absolutely necessary for me. By the time August comes around, though, I think/hope that I’ll be excited at the opportunity to become an even better teacher in my third year.


These kids were cool enough to let me have a prom photo…
…and so was this girl… …and this girl… …and this girl…
…but not this one! At least she was kind enough to pose for this photo. These girls think they’ll be happy to represent the Mathside in my class next year. One of our last Morning Conferences of the year, held every day before first period. Dang, this journalism pest is still trying to get a photo of me to Photoshop…
…yet he’s a little camera shy himself. Two of the kids who made me love and dread my 7th period Algebra 2 class. Hey, I almost don’t recognize these kids with their heads lifted off their desks! It’s 8th period, and school’s almost out for summer.
In Louisiana, duct-taping students on the last day is part of the math curriculum. But ahh yeah, this dude still gets love from the ladies. At an end-of-year school party, Mr. Cross (physics) decides some kids need to cool off. Hey, no smiling allowed on school grounds.
Don’t look so sad. You can still practice math over the summer. Ahh, an empty, semi-clean classroom. A few weeks later, renovations are underway in room #320. Woohoo! No more chalkboard! (That's a projector jutting from the wall)