On Friday afternoon I put the finishing touches on my first quarter of high school, logging grades and comments into the gradebooks of over one hundred and thirty-seven students. I not only have all of their names and faces burned into my memory bank, but I'm fully aware of all past-due assignments and the excuses which are most-often associated with them. Despite their faults, my classroom experiences with young people have been very rewarding and I wouldn't trade them for anything of value.
Near the top of my most memorable have been those encounters with a handful of autistic students. Working with these individuals requires more than just an alternative lesson-plan, and I found my extra laptop to be a great resource. While our minds know when to slow up and shift into safety mode, these students are working overtime in ways which few could ever fathom. In the long run this takes a toll on these students and there are days when I feel their stress. My Econ class completed its block schedule this week and one student offered up a presentation on the gaming industry which was exceptional in every sense of the word. This person came SO FAR since the first day of school and I was proud of what they accomplished in my classroom.
While my freshmen are all returning for another quarter of U.S. History, on Monday I begin a new venture on American Government with 29 seniors. On the eve of a national election and a fresh financial crisis looming on the horizon, the next nine weeks should offer up an assortment of new challenges....and I can't wait for it to start!