Sunday, June 3

stress & relief

this past year, as the senior english teacher, i was responsible for preparing my students for their senior capstone projects - a combination of a complete college and career portfolio, a research paper and finally a presentation and interview with professional volunteers from the community.  hands-down probably the most stressful thing i did all year.  and i didn't just do it once, or even twice.  i did it three times with three different groups of students (about 45 in total).  on the days leading up to the presentations i could be found running back and forth between my classroom at one end of the school and the presentations rooms on the other end, or at my desk staring blankly at schedule spreadsheets and judges'  rubrics and to-do lists.  the morning of presentations, i could be found with my check-list and phone in hand, making sure all of my kids were dressed professionally and had their NetBooks charged and ready to go, giving the presentation rooms a once-over, finalizing lesson plans for my fellow teachers who so graciously took over my morning classes for me, and basically sweating up a storm running all over the place.  i realize most of my stress is self-inflicted, but i don't seem to know how to function any other way.

once all of the presentations had ended and the kids had all gone back to class and i had thanked the volunteer judges one last time, i was left with the task of collecting materials and binders and returning to my room to calculate scores and grades.... and i never knew if i wanted to laugh, cry or scream.  most of the time i just needed a hug.  i just needed someone to know that i had worked really hard to make sure everything went smoothly.  without fail, my wonderful principal always provided the relief and positive reinforcement that i needed: flowers, cookies, kind words, support.

this last week of school we had our third and final round of presentations.  just as stressful as the first two times, but my relief from all of the running around was even better than flowers or cookies.  it was our school district's night at the ballpark, and three of my students, along with students from the other two high schools, had the opportunity to sing the national anthem before the start of the game.  as the "choir director" for our school, i accompanied my students all the way out onto the field.  hands-down probably the coolest thing i got to do all year.

november presentations |  flowers from my principal

february presentations | cookies from my principal

may presentations | night at the ballpark

love my job.

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