I hate when a semester ends. It’s really the day of reckoning: you realize you didn’t get some (many, all, whatevs) of the stuff you wanted to teach done and you reach the point where the kids you have come to love over the course of the semester are getting on your nerves asking about extra credit and other ways to boost their grades. I also think I tend to get annoyed because it’s easier than being sad.
In two weeks, I say goodbye to about 70 kids and say hello to about 60ish new ones. Yup, I teach the exact same class all over again. A blessing and a curse, that one, as I’ve worked out many of the kinks with this crop of kids. I tell them that they’ve paid it forward and that the spring sophomores will thank them for it. That comment merely elicited some eye rolls. I don’t think you want to be a martyr when you’re fifteen…
I do think there’s something to be said about reaching the point with students that–as their teacher and fellow learner–you know them relatively well and they need to move on, and you know that they’re NOT coming up to the fifth floor to see you if they don’t have to, and that those conversations in the margins, the ones about books and about literary puns and about the kid who writes poetry about a summer spent with his brother, and the hashtag they use to tweet about your class (#dparkz) and I get…sad.
I hate the end, even if I’ll be so delirious grading exams and prepping for the next term that I can’t even breathe. I hate the end, as bitter as it is. I hate the end.