At the end of the semester, students sometimes look at their grades for the first time in months. And then they ask, “Is there anything I can do to get my grade up?” You mean besides asking me for help over the last eighteen weeks? And doing the extra credit I offered which is now past its due date? You mean now that there is one day left of class and I’m trying to get all my grades done?
At the end of the semester, sometimes students’ brains don’t work as well as they do earlier in the year when their minds seem fresher somehow. One day, as we looked at a very simple bar graph and I asked a student to explain it, he tried. He started off pretty well , but then began to ramble and he quit making sense altogether. Finally, he said, “I actually don’t have any idea what it means.” I said, “Okay, what’s confusing you?” He replied, “Just… all the… letters.”
At the end of the semester, at least at my school, students give teachers gift cards and homemade cookies. It’s not something I ask for or even encourage, but it certainly is nice. This year, I received the best letter I think I’ve ever gotten. She wrote, “As you know, english is not my strongest subject, but in your class I feel like it is. I contribute and learn so well with you. I am happy to do English for once in my life and that is because of you! So, thank you so much for the support through this semester and making me feel loved & special.”
And if that doesn’t make all the rest of it worth it, I don’t know what would.