Thursday, March 30, 2017

{solsc} #sol17 30/31 Hey! Isn't This Your Last...



"Hey! Isn't this your last....."

Fill in the blank. National Honor Society induction, Speech contest, semester, conferences...
Whatever it is, yes. It's my last. Come May, I will be shutting the door to my classroom for the last time.

It's my choice. But as I have written, it's a bittersweet time in my career right now. And that "Isn't this your last..." not my favorite--especially when I say it.

"Hey! Isn't this your last?" suggests that I am a short timer, that I am counting down the days and hours until I am done. It seems to say that I don't care and have quit learning new things. This is far from the truth.

I've been working on Standards Based Grading for a couple of years---just this semester I created a SBG rubric for class discussion that I've been using in my College Prep Lit class. It isn't perfect, but I keep tweaking it every unit and it's becoming very workable.

I also have standards and I can statements for most of the classes/units I teach. Our district is in the midst of going to standards-based grading and I will not leave my classes with nothing for a new teacher to start with. And besides that. It is something I truly believe in. I'm not short timing this!

I continue to change every class I teach based on the kids in the class. I've always done it. Why would I change now? My Contemporary Lit class this semester is very different than the first one I taught. I've developed it for several years. And next year's teacher will have notes and ideas to begin with.

Because that's the other thing. I know it's the last (but I'm working on it being the best), I've left all my plans for this year in notebooks. Day by day plans. Because I still remember my first day on the job:
"What do I teach?" I was hoping for some ideas, a syllabus.  But no.
"Anything you want," I was told.

Next year's teacher will still be able to teach anything they want, but at least they will have a place to start.



6 comments:

  1. You're so kind to the person coming after you! And clearly leaving a legacy...

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  2. Thanks for sharing the insight to a retiring teacher's mind. My classroom neighbor is retiring this year, and he's been adamant that he's not counting down, that he's not going to leave bitter. Your post helped me see if from his perspective. It also reassured me, as a relatively new teacher, that it's ok to be constantly changing (my Contemporary Lit class always looks nothing like the previous semester) and to be learning as you grow.

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  3. Good teachers want the best for others, and are constantly trying to improve themselves so that they can give their students the best. You are truly a good teacher. ~JudyK

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  4. My daughter is a second year teacher and she would have loved to have had someone's plans and ideas. This is a wonderful gift you are leaving. My friend and teaching counter-part just announced that she is leaving at the end of the year. The "lasts" are starting to hit her...and me because I have taught with her all ten of my years. Bittersweet for all.

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  5. You are a gift to that next teacher, Deb. What a loving post, for yourself, knowing that you are doing what's the right way, and for the future of the students. Try to enjoy the changes, the goodbyes. I imagine you will love a new world opening up you can take part in.

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  6. How wonderful that you are leaving notebooks for the next teacher! It's a great way to share a bit of your teaching life, and it gives your successor some options. You are a class act!

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