Sure there are things harder than coming back to school after being off for nine days, like being a P.O.W, fighting a debilitating illness, or being on the elliptical for 95 minutes, but y'all if I am being completely honest, coming back from a long break is rough, even for teachers. We like warm beds, late breakfasts, and Netflix binges too.
On days after long breaks where I am wishing for another day off, I try to remind myself that the alternative would be not getting to do normal and mundane. For many, a simple, normal day would be such a luxury. Our normal days this week started with a little grammar instruction dealing with types of sentences followed up with dependent/independent clauses. As soon as I broke out the first grammar exercise, loud cheers of enthusiasm erupted in the room as each of you begged for more and more grammar exercises like they were Krispy Kreme doughnuts fresh off the conveyor belt. NOT.
Here's the thing I have learned about my 32 years of either teaching or attending school. Some days are fun. Most days are not. Sometimes there is simply work to be done. The fun is not necessarily in the doing, no more than say laying brick is a super, joyous task. The fun is in who you get to lay brick or diagram sentences with in this life. Pick your people wisely.
This being said, I will tell you, as your teacher, I really try to make learning fun and interesting for you. I hope I succeed at engaging you guys most of the time. However, I want you to know there are also days where there is nothing super fun about a task. That's just life. It won't always been fun, and how we respond when it isn't says a lot about who we are. If you can hold on and persevere even when things get boring or tedious, you know you are ready for the real world, which isn't that far away for most of you.
In just a few short years, many of you will be entering your first year of college. Having taught as an adjunct professor at both UWF and PSC, I know what lies ahead in your future college courses. Among other tasks, you will be submitting assignments electronically, responding to message boards, and collaborating with peers. As such, I try to create assignments that will mirror this environment and begin preparing you for that world, which is why we used Yammer for the first time this week. As a closed group by period, you each responded electronically to your classmates regarding film techniques and open-ended questions regarding Edward Scissorhands. I cannot tell you how profoundly impressed I was with the responses I read on Friday.
You guys are well on your way to becoming the finest students at your respective colleges, and when they ask you how you are so skilled, I want you to say, "Oh, we've been doing this since the ninth grade." And for the record, I shared some of your responses with Ms. Sturgeon, a dear friend and the Comp I and II teacher here at Pace. She was thoroughly impressed and wants to see all of you in her classes very soon.
Thank you guys for always giving your best and working hard even on mundane days. You can't see it now, but you are building something really special.
One Brick at a Time,