Friday, May 15, 2015

The Final(s) Countdown

It's Friday.  (AHHHHHH!) This time of year, the weekends come both too fast and not fast enough. That may seem like an odd description, but anyone who has ever taught high school in mid-May will understand. The days seem to drag on, with the clock moving so slowly that it sometimes feels as if there's been a power failure.  And then, suddenly, it's Friday, and the countdown to summer vacation appears on the whiteboard, surreptitiously scrawled by some student who has taken the responsibility to change the official countdown.

13 1/2 days left for students.
 
How is that even possible?  It seems like just a few weeks ago we were checking morning television for snow delays.  

This week has been more down time than productivity, in terms of direct instruction.  Two full days at National History Day for me meant independent assignments and substitutes in my classroom.  Additional absenteeism due to AP testing and Keystone testing, leaving such a small smattering of students that attempting productive instruction, or even discussions, seemed less than reasonable in terms of success.

This time next weekend we'll be hanging flags and thinking about parades.  And I'll be grading 27 rough drafts of research papers in three days to make sure that there is time to do final drafts before final exams.   The annual awards presentation is this Sunday night, when the first of the scholarships will be awarded to the seniors.  The countdown has begun, and it appears there is no stopping it now.

So seniors, and parents of seniors, breathe deep, and know that commencement sounds like a word that means ENDING, yet is actually exactly the opposite.  They're ready to fly.  Just open your fingers.