This weekend I took 5 of my honors students to the Arizona Evirothon. It’s a two day competition for high school students. Students compete with other teams from around the state in wildlife, forestry, aquatics, and soil by taking 3 tests at different stations. Each test is 55 minutes and includes complex scenarios that requires critical thinking and application of knowledge. After their tests, students have two hours to prepare a 10 minute presentation. The presentation senerio this year involved sustainable agriculture. Each team had to answer the senario by using the concepts learned plus defend their decisions.
Nine teams competed this year. Forty five kids have up a Saturday to talk and learn about the environment and environment issues. It gives me hope for the future.
It’s easy to forget that there are kids out there who still value knowledge. Listening to these kids talk to each other makes me realize that the future will probably be okay. Sometimes as a teacher, you focus so much on the low kids, the kids that don’t get it, the kids who don’t care, the kids who to have to force to think because they’ve never had a deep thought in their lives, that you forget there are kids out there who think, who learn, who are capable of moving us forward.
I love spending time with those kids. They give me hope. They’re going to figure it out and be ok. They’re going to contribute positively to the world and we’re going to be ok.
Time flies. Spring semester began only a few days ago, right? What? It’s already been 9 weeks! Where the hell did the first half of my semester go?! I though this semester would be different. I have a prep period this semester. That means I have an extra 1.5 hours in my day that I can spend to plan out lessons, grade papers, be on top of work…
Right… Or I can use that time to go to meetings, make copies, email parents, talk with admin about new classes for next year. And yes, grade some papers and plan some classes. This is the first time I’ve had a prep period in a year and a half. I thought it would mean more freedom, but instead, I find myself looking up at the clock and going “Shit, class starts in 5 minutes! Where the hell did my 90 minutes go?”
How is it possible that I still have a stack of papers to grade every Sunday? How is it possible that I still don’t have enough hours in my day to get everything done? It’s over loading some times.
But the good news is that I’m almost done. 9 more weeks until graduation and summer vacation. It’ll be 9 weeks of pushing students (especially seniors) to do their best, to study, and to keep showing up. Summer isn’t here yet and they still have chemistry to do and wildlife to study and they can’t shut down yet.
And on the other side of that is motivating myself to stay on top of things. It’s not summer yet for me either! I need to stay focused, stay on task, and keep being the best teacher I can for these kiddos.
The break certainly helps. Spring break is almost over, but I feel recharged and ready go. Hopefully that thought will last until Monday.