Finals week is finally upon us! I have been buried in grading, writing finals, and prepping students. There are days I struggle, and wonder if I am really doing my job as a teacher. I do my best to encompass all types of learning into my classroom, in order to give my students the best chance to learn everything that they need to pass my course.
Of course, there is one resource students often overlook – the teacher themselves! We are there to do more than prepare lessons, give harsh grades, and fail students. I hate to fail students, I hurt when I see students struggling. But no one wants to ask the teacher for help.
I teach online college courses, and I know that some students struggle more when it comes to online courses. They require dedication and commitment. There is a level of independence there, but at the same time, learning to turn things in on a deadline can really pull some students down. I urge my students to tackle their assignments early in the week, not waiting until the last minute to complete all the assignments.
I am sitting here, looking over the courses that I have taught this semester, and I begin to wonder what I can do to help my students more. I want to give them the best opportunities, but how do you teach students – yet, not hand them everything. I want them to learn, to grow, and to form their own opinions. Keeping a bias out of a classroom can be extremely hard, but it can be done. I do not tell students which side of the fence I am on with issues, I let them debate and learn, and we go back and forth with learning and discussion.
As a teacher, I am thankful for finals. I look forward to see what my students have learned, and what they have gained out of the course. I want to see that their level of interest have changed, and how their knowledge can be put to work. I am sitting here at my desk, thinking back over the semester – and I know that I did everything that I could to help students succeed. Even though I continually question myself, I know that by doing so, I keep my information fresh, engaging, and give my students what they need to complete the course successfully.
I am thankful that now I can turn my attention fully back to my kids, and get them through the remainder of the school year. We are so close to being finished. Who ever said that home school was easy – WHATEVER. There are days that we struggle to get through what we need to – simply because the sun is shining and we would rather be outdoors than inside. There so many things that we can do outdoors, but there are some things that we have to complete inside. I would do school outside everyday if I knew that my children would truly pay attention and not let their minds wander to the park and the fun that they could be having there.
I have started the adventure of looking for the material that we are going to use next year. I need to change things up for my boys and get something a little more hands on than what we are using right now. Boys need to keep their hands, and feet, busy. We take frequent breaks through the day, just to get the wiggles out. I cannot say much – sitting still all day is not fun for me either! : )
What are you summer plans!??