It’s been a rough week. I’ve spent too many work hours proctoring state tests, and it’s made me testy. (Ha!)
The thing that brings me to work every day is working with my students. For way too much time this week, I’ve been standing in a room of students watching them take a test to ensure they don’t cheat. It’s not the same, and my bucket of goodness is pretty much depleted.
No book to read. No cell phone. Often no timely relief from our duty, since people run late or forget about their proctoring assignment. Just watching for hours on end.
It’s incredibly draining.
This week is also the last full week Seniors are on campus. I decided not to attend graduation, because honestly I hate sitting through stuff like that. But since I won’t be there, I wanted to do something nice for my Seniors. I made them a small gift, and I wrote them personalized cards.
One of the students I had when I first started at my school last year, so I know him a little better than the rest.
He was a Freshman then. Now he’s a Senior, though only 15, because he’s already finished all of his graduation requirements.
I thought I wasn’t going to get to see him today, because he was testing. But he finished early, and I gave him his card with his gift in it. I walked away after giving it to him. I figured he could open it there or open it later at his leisure.
He opened it in class. A few minutes later, he came over and gave me a hug and thanked me. He said it’s been a good two years. I told him I was worried about him leaving high school so early. It sounds like he has family support, so I hope he doesn’t lose his way.
But I’m so hopeful for all of them, even those I don’t have in class. For my Seniors, even though I’ve only known them a short time, I see such potential in them. Which is why I chose the quote I did for the key chains. It’s a quote from Brené Brown‘s book Daring Greatly, probably the biggest source of inspiration for this blog.
Sure, the information my students have accumulated during their high school careers is important. I know there are a ton of memes that float around about how useless some of the information from public information can be, but I find that all of that information has gone to make me a more well-rounded individual. Being well-rounded has allowed me to know more and more about myself.
Surely in the course of my own life it’s helped give me the foundation to figure out who I am. I hope what my students know from their public education will help them fully develop who they are.
And I hope my students will stay great. I hope they won’t stay long in the ruts that life has in store for them. I hope they keep broadening their horizons and never stop learning in all the forms that can take. I hope they always question what they think they know about themselves so they don’t let labels limit them. I hope they follow their hearts and their guts when they need to.
This generation gets a lot of flack. I’m not so sure they are any worse than my own generation, or the ones before it. There are some students that make me concerned for the future of the world. I wonder if they’ll ever truly grow up. But mostly, that’s not so. I see future leaders and innovators. I see caring and compassion.
Working with them one-on-one, getting that occasional thank you and hug. Those are the little things that make me want to do this until retirement.
Proctoring exams, not so much…