Thursday, May 27, 2010

Closure

And now, the end is here/ And so I face the final curtain...

Confession: End of year closure - I never really did it. I would usually show Dead Poet's Society along with a discussion intended to get the kids to think about the life lessons they learn in the classroom. And then the final bell would ring and I would wish them well on their future exams (they had already taken mine - the state test) and a safe summer.

And then there were none.

Which, in some cases, was fine. By that time of the year, there were a handful of kids who I'm sure were glad to be rid of me, just as I was glad to be seeing them out the door. There were a few I'd miss, who would promise to come back and see me next year. And then others who were apathetic (sidenote: as big of a nerd I was, and as much as I loved some of my teachers, I rarely went back to them and said hello. I take comfort in this, knowing there are probably just as many kids who enjoyed my class and never said so as there are kids who tell me).

But in the future, I'd really like to do something that gives the year appropriate closure. Something that says "We've spent a lot of time together, made some progress, and that deserves recognition." Something that acknowledges I have enjoyed sharing a classroom with them.

I like the idea of writing little notes to all my kids individually like teachin' does, but with 120 students, I would probably have a hard time coming up with anything to say for some of them. But it's the effort, right? So, I'll think about it. Especially because some of these kids need to hear something good about themselves -- just like I want to hear what a good teacher I am, they want to hear what good kids they are! So perhaps that's a project I'll undertake.

But what else is out there? Are there any special projects or activities you do for end-of-year closure?

4 comments:

  1. Yep, it gets hard to come up with stuff to write sometimes, especially when you're running out of time to get them done. I've learned to save my favorite class for last (because let's be honest, of course we have favorite classes) because those come more easily.

    And the other thing I've had to do for a few kids is go track down one of their other teachers and be like, "So. What's good about this kid? Cuz I'm comin' up empty here." That's always helped when writers block hits.

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  2. I like the note idea, too, but it is hard to write something 110% different/unique for each of my students, ha! (Especially when they all show off what their notes say..."Well she said this to me...but look what she said to her!" *sigh* :-) I think it's still nice/fun to do.

    This year with my two senior classes, I made them each a book mark with my favorite T.S. Eliot quote. Nothing fancy, but I hope that it was meaningful (which I know to some it definitely was). And I told them thanks for a great year. Sometimes the little things mean the most!

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  3. We watch Ten Things I Hate About You - and I go into this whole schpeel about how they will never truly escape Shakespeare, so there!

    It's become such a tradition that returning students ask when I'm going to start playing the movie.

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  4. For the notes, I wonder if you can keep a list of students in your binder, and when they do something worth noting, you jot it down, that way at the end of the year you have notes that can be really specific: "I'll always remember how you [check back at list] were so kind to Mara the day she lost her backpack."

    The easy kids'll stay easy.

    My seniors write a letter to themselves, and I keep it for five years, then send it off.

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