End of the School Year Confessions

Yesterday I shared that I was officially on summer vacation and that this means I finally have time to share some of the things that went on in my classroom these past few months.  Today I’d like to share some of my 2017-2018 end of the year confessions in the hopes that you will realize I’m a normal, everyday teacher just like you!

  • I had to get a second job this spring to help pay the bills.  I was fortunate to get a good job in the activities department of a nursing home.  Although things like watching movies and doing puzzles with the elderly isn’t that physically demanding, it’s exhausting being out of the house for 12+ hours each day Monday through Friday.
  • I never told my Spanish 2 Quizbowl team that we were bumped down from 3rd place to 4th place due to a miscalculation of points the day of the competition.  They felt so awesome for being the only team from our school to place and I couldn’t take that away from them!
  • I assigned a project the last 9 days of class because I just couldn’t mentally invest anymore.  A day or two into the project, I realized it was way too much time butI didn’t mind as long as students were working, met each day’s goal, and not in my hair.
  • In addition to an activity tied to students reading clubs, I made students also do an activity from Martina Bex’s Independent Textivities packets for Los Baker van a Perú so I could use some of their activities (timelines, crossword puzzles, etc.) as main activities in class before moving on to the next chapter.  I’d call students up by the activity they chose and then choose the best after glancing it over to go make photocopies in the teacher’s lounge.
  • I applied for a handful of full time Spanish teaching jobs around the area and only even received a phone call from one.   Although I really want to be a full time teacher again, I’m happy to be returning to such a positive and progressive school!
  • I had a student failing up until yesterday even though I use CI and I am standards-based (meaning the student can do retakes).  The student had issues in another class which caused him to mentally tune out the month or so that we read Los Baker van a Perú.  After retaking some assessments twice (or even three times!), the student was still failing.  My deduction is that the student didn’t do their part to pay attention (one of the biggest indicators of TPRS/CI classes in my honest opinion) nor did they prepare on their own before retakes.
  • The last four days of class (and the weekend in-between) I didn’t have any hot water in my house nor AC!  Rough to feel your best when you haven’t had a hot shower in several days and you’re sweating in your sleep!  Before these issues started, we had called the fire department the week before because we had smoke in our basement from water build up.
  • I left most of my wall decor up on the walls as I walked out… even though some of it’s already falling down due to humidity levels.  My colleagues tell me there’s no official check list like I’m used to in the past so I moved my breakables to the counter and I got out of there!
  • This was probably my second most emotional ending to a school year.  My mother,  who lives 8 hours away in my home state of Michigan, has some health issues going on and my husband and I recently decided to rehome one of our dogs (something I thought I’d never do ever!).  Why is this only the second most emotional?  Because the worst were all tied to problems at school while these are in my private life.

Don’t let this list fool you – there were positive things about my end of the year, but sometimes it’s important to admit we’re all human!

12 thoughts on “End of the School Year Confessions

  1. Oh, dear. I believe it was an emotional year for many teachers. I couldn’t get many of my students to mentally check in which made it difficult for them to pass the tests and quizzes. Then, many would not bother to come in and take the retakes. The students who did very often got worse grades on the retakes which I chose to believe showed their investment in class. I also believe I had more students fail the spring semester than ever before. I think this was because several who had been doing fine mid-semester checked out mentally a lot earlier fourth quarter than usual.

    Part of the reason my students checked out was that, by April , most had heard I wouldn’t be returning next fall. I was told I’d be cut from my part-time teaching job next fall in March. I had sort of expected this would happen; however, it has been really difficult to face as I have not interested in a full-time job due to several personal factors, and there is a qualified Spanish teacher shortage in southern Iowa. Sadly, I’m now working full-time at my part-time retail job, and will be attempting to permanently move on from teaching in the fall.

    Good luck in your endeavors!

    • Oh, Teresa! I am so sorry to hear about your position. I know first hand the negative vibes created once students know you are leaving/done. I know Iowa schools are hurting for GREAT world language teachers like you and I. I hope you found a perfect position for the upcoming school year! 💜

    • So right! I just got my back to school letter a week ago, and even though the back to school nightmares have started already (3 weeks too soon!), I am eager for a new school year. Can’t wait to meet my new little chickees! 🌞

  2. Mrs. Elizabeth D. Where I can find the book; Loa Baker van a Peru!? Do you sell those books like Fiesta fatal? please! Let me know.
    Thank You! for sharing your conflicts at the school and personal.I will cross my fingers for you!

  3. I was diagnosed with Graves disease this school year and some days I wondered how I made it through the day and then went home and cared for my son with autism and applied to colleges with my “senior” son. I worked hard, but I know I was not my best. I hope all gets better for you! Blessings.

    • I’m so sorry to hear this, Maddie! I hope things have gotten smoother for you and your family this summer. You are a GREAT mother and teacher, and I’m sure there are children that are looking forward to back to school time so they can see you again. 💝

  4. Thanks for sharing this! Last winter, I had some of the same type problems :/ – frozen pipes for 3 days, so we had to pay $10 each at the local truck stop to shower! It was an adventure to say the least. I know that where I’m at in rural Missouri, there is a shortage of language teachers, so schools have gone to computerized (UGH) language learning-maybe that’s what’s happening in Iowa? I love reading your blog and appreciate you sharing your ideas. Have a great summer 🙂

    • Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone! I have to say now that the Hot Water Debacle of the Summer of 2017 is now over and in the books (we seriously went over a month with no hot water!), my husband and I laugh about it now and talk about how it showed us how strong we are.

      Iowa is just recently starting to feel the teacher shortage – especially in world languages. Many schools here also turn to online learning (in fact my last school had problems with the guy who replaced me getting his teaching license so they went to an online school). I have to confess I taught for one of the more common ones because I was interested in earning some extra cash, but it went against everything I believe world language education should be and I quite.

      Thank you for your kind words and I hope you’ve also had a good summer!

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