The school year is coming to a close, and a feeling of relief washes over us. We’re handing in our final grades, assessing the past year, and breaking out that smile that’s been missing since coming back from the Christmas holiday.
Okay, I’m exaggerating with the smile part. Personally, the anxiety has set in and my desk is as much of a mess as it was the third week of September.
But why is that? And is anyone out there with me?? Holla back if you are!
In this blog post I want to dissect this bizarre phenomenon that’s been plaguing me (and my teacher friends) for 12 years. Please feel free to comment on any of the 5 reasons I (or we) just don’t have that relaxed feeling coming on yet.
(1) The Common Core State Standards (if your state adopted them) – Yes, we’ve looked them over…and over…and over. Now we’re looking them over again and thinking, did we really address that standard? Did I teach it the right way? Oh jeez, I missed that one. Does that mean my students’ lives are incomplete now? Ugh.
(2) My desk – I think it’s under there somewhere. I’ve got materials I never used, assignments I meant to use to address the vague CCSS, and handed-in homework I meant to grade but is irrelevant now that the trimester is over. But the hard surface underneath swears to me there’s still a desk.
(3) Bulletin Boards – Did I even change them after Easter or Spring Break? What am I going to replace it with in September? September is really only three months away? Damn the calendar.
(4) What did my students really learn? – So I covered this, this, this, and this. Just because I covered it doesn’t mean my students learned it, digested it, and understand it. Do they remember the concept behind that fun project we did back in December just because it was, well, fun? Now I have a headache.
(5) State Assessments – I honestly forget when those scores make it back to my administration, but, inevitably, they make it here. Do I practice my posture to stand proudly, or do I hide under that elusive desk? The tests were based on the sneak attack of the CCSS, so did I prepare my students enough? Wait, I hate “teaching to the test”. What am I worried about?
The answer is EVERYTHING.
Next time: How to move on from these anxiety blues without banging my head against my desk.