There's no turning back now. As spring time creeps in the windows and sweaters get pushed to the back of the closet, my students get a whiff of their pending graduation with mixed emotions. Some are signed up for classes and rooms at their respective colleges, some are still deciding which school to attend, and still others are resigned to jobs at local establishments and delayed career decisions. It is an exciting season. Whichever path they choose, they are realizing that this highly anticipated time in their young lives is much closer than they imagined. The day they began to look to at the start of their freshman year seemed so far off - a whole four years! - and now it is a mere 12 weeks away. Much like the spring time, with new growth and sunshine, my students are on the cusp of such renewal and rebirth.
But there's still so much to do!
My English students are steeped in their research papers. Contemporary topics have given them lots to discuss and study. Reluctant workers seem to have a boost in their motivation, perhaps because of a vested interest in the topic. Most are staying on track with notes and outlines and independent reading and others have yet to locate one decent piece of research. Reminders of avoiding procrastination, the importance of personal motivation, and the sheer weight of this paper as far as their grades are concerned fall on deaf ears, I fear. But, now is not the time to get sentimental.
I'm excited to see their outlines and first drafts within the next two weeks. It will give me an idea of whether or not this research paper is still a viable assignment and how to improve it as the years go on. We've finished Animal Farm and I think the kids enjoyed it overall. We'll view the film version and build replica farms in our spare time. Then it's on to 1984.
So no matter how balmy the weather gets and how many buds appear on the trees, we must finish our high school hibernation in order to burst into the new season of our lives with renewed energy, fresh perspectives, and open minds. Only then can we blossom.