When I started this project, I wondered if I would feel more exhausted before the Thanksgiving break or before the Christmas break. My blog has answered that question. I haven’t posted at all between Thanksgiving and Christmas, missed by DITLIfe day and while I may not have felt as physically exhausted before Christmas as I know I did before Thanksgiving, I was emotionally spent. I literally ran out of time for the list of things I wanted to get done. The priorities piled up, and this blog and reflection fell by the wayside.
On December 17th, my family had Christmas. It was a Saturday, and so there was no school and my life balance was entirely focused on family. We wanted to celebrate early as one of our teen daughters was going to be out of town for Christmas helping our Grandma recover from surgery in another state. This wasn’t planned and so upped my timeline of family things unexpectedly. Which is fine, as my family is the most important and I was able to get the important things done at school. I just haven’t had any time to write about them. And now, a week after school got out (last day was the 20th) I find myself with a free moment to reflect and write.
In the last full week of the term, my class set up a walk-through financial experience, but I’m posting about that in another post. My thoughts the last week were often about finding the balance between the following:
- What experiences can I provide for my students that will be meaningful in their lives beyond their school years?
- How can students interact with the content I’m asked to teach them in a way they will find engaging and will inspire them to want to learn?
- Reluctant learners won’t learn anything unless I convince them they can learn and inspire them to want to learn – this is the first battle, and I find it the most difficult when we run up against the brick wall of a grading period when a letter grade must be assessed, or anyone asks for proof of learning. The change in a child’s mindset is difficult to measure.
- How can I grade this (experience, growth, learning) in a way that is meaningful to the student and doesn’t take forever for me? (Especially when students and their parents want an instant answer.)