The 2005-06 school year: 180 teaching days, three major anti-district rallies, an 11th hour deal to avoid a strike, the completion of my masters degree, the diagnosis of my son with celiac disease, four sections of AP World History, and one out-of-control section of CP World History. It has been quite a year.
I usually have two types of emotions at the end of the school year. Either I am totally done and want out or I am sad because I am so comfortable with my classes, I don’t want to start over. This year is different; I’m satisfied with the end of the school. The time is right for it to be over.
I have no more looming graduate classes (as much as I loved the program, it added a certain amount of stress to my life). Teaching AP World History was an incredible challenge and I look forward to going through it again. Building upon what I started and making it even better. Next year, I will teach more then one section of college prep, which will make my investment in that class greater. That class felt very stale to me this year, I will be doing some major reinventing next year.
My students this year were great. They challenged me. I worked harder for this class, because I felt I owed it to them. I only wish I could have done more. The dynamic in each of the AP classes brought out the best in me and, I think, them. I won’t say I was burnt out, but I am refreshed.
When I said my parting words to them on Wednesday and Thursday, I was not emotional. We were done. We had a good run. But it is time for them to move on. To other AP classes, other challenges. I told them thank you, they returned the gesture. In two years, I will gladly shake their hands or give them a hug as they graduate and go on to do something else.
5 thoughts on “It’s Over”
Stubbled upon your page. Very interesting. I teach Pre-AP World History in Houston, Texas. We don’t have an AP World yet. Anyway, I will be reading more of your site to find out how you teach World History. I am always looking for some tips and love to read about teachers that blog.
Sorry you had such a tough year of teaching and personal issues. Hang in there. It is summer. 🙂
Here’s a question, what do you do with them after the exam? I teach AP US, and it’s always a struggle to come up with something meaningful to do after the exam is over, because I’ve gone all the way up to the present by the middle of April. What have you done with your World kids?
I wonder if you see this phenomenon: Some colleagues are jealous of you for having only the “smart” students, thinking that you don’t have to deal with any problems (SO NOT TRUE on both counts). Yet these same colleagues don’t want to teach the AP classes themselves, since they think it’s “too much work.” By the way, these are colleagues who teach in departments who have practically no AP classes in them.
I got hugged by so many of my former AP kids at graduation– it brought back such good memories. It’s worth the work.
Congratulations on making it through a difficult year. I lost my dad this year, and my kids were so mature and understanding in staying on target while I was gone.
I totally understand your end of the year feelings. When I tuaght in the classroom the end of the year always stirred up emotions, either positive or negative. I’ll never forget one year I had an absolutely fantastic class teaching afternoon religious school. The following year I did not enjoy my class as much. I asked the principal if he ever thought I’d have such a great class again. His response was only if you let it happen. Its been nearly fifteen years since that wonderful class and this past year I taught another afternoon religious school class that I really meshed with. We all learned a ton. Fortunately, I’m looping with these kids next year and I can’t wait.
Congratulations to us, classroom teachers. We survived and thrived despite trying conditions. I can very much relate to what you said here, I have a similar entry *smile. What are you doing for summer?