Made major strides today in tearing down and cleaning up my room. Sat for a while, after 10 trips down three flights of steps and back from the car hauling boxes of books one by one, looking around and thinking: I made it through a whole year.
Did I make it to the end with the same degree of idealistic enthusiasm I had at the beginning? Hell, no. I learned quickly that regardless of intention and skill and dedication these kids are not going to read Notes From Underground with me, and I had to bust my ass every day just to get them to pay attention for 20 minutes out of a 90 minute class. So I lost some idealism--I didn't quit, no matter how many times I thought about it. I did crap out earlier than I'd have liked, and started dialing it in about a month before school was out. I need to think long and hard about ways to keep engaging 8th graders late in the year.
Yeah, we still have the sixth and seventh graders until Friday, but most of them aren't coming this week. Today was chill--the only kids in the building busied themselves helping pack up and clean. I had a crew of misfits last period, hallwalkers mostly, which I captured one by one as they drifted past. I gave them chips and grape sodas and showed them The Simpsons.