Thursday, April 05, 2007

Last day of teaching!

Seder table!

The week before the end of the quarter is crazy! There is so much going on and so little time to do anything. I may feel like I do not have so much time because I started going to softball practice with the high school girls. I love being with them. They’re hardly a team and it’s very different from sports in the US. Dodds’ schools would probably be around a 2A school. For their game yesterday, I got them all bouncy balls and wrote “Bounce over Bitburg.” Except there was no bouncing and they lost horribly. I think the final score was 12-4, but the other team scored eight runs in just the first inning. They’ll improve. Whether they’re great or not, it’s nice to get outside and play around with the girls and not stuck in school until six o’clock.

Also, I got to do a Seder for my two honors classes. We sent home permission slips and only the students who got it signed and signed it themselves got to come. Mrs. Rudd made the choroset and boiled eggs. Mrs. Kretz brought in candlesticks and holders. I bought parsley, root, horseradish, and matzah! We had a blast. We all sang Dayeinu and I sang the Four Questions. I was nervous about the Hebrew, since I had never led a Seder before, but I did great. Haha. Not that they would have known when I missed up though. They learned so much about Jewish tradition and I felt proud of my heritage. A girl let the holiday candles and I said the prayer. They loved searching for the afikoman. They were going everywhere to look for it and of course I pulled our old family trick of hiding it under the tablecloth. It was nice to be able to share something about my family with all the students, especially since I couldn’t be with my family.

The students filled out mini evaluations for me. If there were “bad” things, they were mostly things about not liking quizzes because they had to read or that I wasn’t mean enough. A couple people wrote that I have to outline my notes/lecture better, which is great feedback from students. Also, that I didn’t go in depth enough. I think this is interesting because there is so much to cover in such little time. A lot of the students have trouble with the little amount of material we do study. Some were very sad. I’ve helped a lot of kids and believed in a lot of kids who have never had someone in their corner. Those few students really poured their hearts out on that half sheet of paper. There were thanks for patience, blessings, and poems. It was very touching and I will sincerely miss those students. I will miss them all, but I will especially miss them. I have a special place in my heart for the kids who everyone else sees as “bad.” In my class, they always prove everyone else wrong. They are respectful, sincere, honest, helpful, and outgoing. I think the “trouble makers” just need a little extra love and support.

I was AMAZED and very proud of myself because every student turned in their poster for this unit and took the test. It was unbelievable. I did not have any Fs and only a few Ds. The students were really working hard. The students that I was worried about really came through strong and took care of things. I believe that when the teacher cares, the students care. I reminded them and helped, I went to tutoring to make sure those kids really knew what was expected.

My teacher gave me a great compliment today and asked me for the email list to the parents. He said, “Hey, that’s really working,” about the hundreds of emails I send to the parents about their projects and test dates. It felt good to have a teacher want to do what I had been doing. It was a great way to phase out of my teaching.

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