Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The End Draws Nigh

This is mostly a teaching post, but I saw this little beauty and had to share.

Gotta love the play on Hamlet's famous soliloquy.
Tomorrow is the last day of school for the students. It's been quite a year. On the one hand, I feel like it took me longer to get my feet under me, but on the other hand, I feel like once I developed a rapport with my students, in some ways it's gone beyond the rapport I've had in past years.

My board has been constantly filled with notes this past week. Last night we had the 8th grade ceremony to send them off to high school; seeing the kids dressed up really solidifies that they are now high schoolers. When they first came to me in the beginning of the year, they were just glorified 7th graders; I saw them grow into 8th graders; now they're 9th graders.

It's such a huge transition, and the main reason I love teaching this grade.

I am so grateful for the notes they've been writing me this week, and I can't wait to read their year-end survey about their thoughts on my class. I'm thinking my scrapbook is going to need a few pages added.

I was enjoying this little article from Buzzfeed about how you know when you've been teaching too long, and had to pull a few to share.

How many smiley faces, ampersands, and uses of "ur" have I had to correct? Probably a million.
The bottom line with grammar is that it's kind of inherent. You need to read a lot and practice writing to get the hang of it; teaching it is rarely successful on its own. I'm all for this kind of...ahem...gentle correction, though.

(I recently asked a student if she had a grudge against apostrophes, because she never uses them.)

I am the master at this.
It's so hard to tell students when they're flat-out wrong, but I don't believe in letting them get away with ridiculous answers, either. They're not going to learn from their mistakes if they think their mistakes are right answers!
This this this this this this this.
My students are perhaps too young to really understand the difference they make in the lives of their teachers, or the fact that the reason we come to school in the mornings is for them more than anything else, but this is the truth. If I know I've somehow impacted a student; taught them something they'll remember for life; or introduced them to a genre, author, or book they'll cherish forever, then I know I've done my job.

(Prime example: A student wrote me a letter and had written the number "5", remembered my rule about writing out numbers under 10, and crossed it out to fix it...And it wasn't even graded!)

I'm ready for summer break, but I'm going to miss this group of kids. I've done what I can with them, and now it's up to them to go into the world of young-adulthood, set goals, aim high, and...use the force, or whatever.

Finally, here's a little something to leave you with a smile. I use this as a mnemonic device in writing: how to remember that "a lot" is not a single word:
Click here to read all about the lovely Alot! Hilarity ensues.

Tell me about a teacher you'll always remember.



  1. I totally agree with what you said about grammar being inherent. The reason I know how to write is because when I was a kid, I read ALL the time. I could not diagram a sentence for the life of me, but I could tell you whether the sentence was correct or not. Oh my word that link about the ALOT had me laughing.. ALOT!! (You're pictures a laughing Alot right now, aren't you???)

    1. I still can't diagram a sentence! I was always so frustrated in school when I had to label words and parts of sentences.

      I should post some pictures of the Alots I had the kids draw this year. The "Alot of throw up" is really beautiful haha.