Finals Week

It's finals week at school.  I have such a love/hate relationship with this final week before winter break.  Finals week for the kids means a lot of free/work time to "study".  Some students do a fantastic job of using their time wisely and they truly appreciate the built-in "study time".  Most kids, however, are happy sitting, staring off into space, and socializing!  "Hello!!!  Don't you realize you have eight finals this week???" is what I really want to say.  "Don't tell me you have NOTHING to do!"  I can't force a kid to's impossible.  I can't teach motivation either.  It just makes no sense to me that a student who is borderline D-/F still has no ambition to succeed.  Grrr....  This week I am a teacher-turned-babysitter.  Of high school kids, nonetheless.  And that is definitely not what I went to school for.

On the other hand, there are some things about finals week that make it all worth the while...
  • The obvious - I love that I'm less than a week away from a 2-week vacation!  Winter vacation means sleeping in, being lazy, snuggling with Kinnick on the couch, and of course, NO STUDENTS!!!!!  It also means the holidays are near!  Christmas and New Years are two of my favorite holidays!  We're headed to Iowa this weekend to celebrate, to Wichita on Christmas Eve, and having a party at our house for NYE.  I'm also looking forward to reading a couple books (I checked some out from the library yesterday!) and cookie-decorating/wine night with friends next Tuesday.  Lots of great things in store over break.  I can not wait!!!
  • I love that "teaching" of new material is over.  I have lots of spare time in class to clean, organize, plan for next semester, and waste time on the Internet (hence the many blog entries this week). :)
  • I love that we get to wear pajamas, ugly sweaters, and jeans to school this week!  This is one of those weeks when pretty much anything goes.  Student Counsel sponsors a spirit week...Monday is always pajama day (my personal favorite!) and yesterday was Ugly Sweater Day.  Despite the popularity of Ugly Sweater parties, I have never owned an ugly holiday sweater!  Instead, I opted for a tacky Christmas light necklance and jingle bell earrings. :)
  • I love the feeling of accomplishment.  One of my favorite things about my job is that each year has a beginning and end.  There's something very fulfilling about finishing a semester.  It also means we're half way to summer!
  • I love seeing the reaction of students who work hard and earn the grade they want.  For instance, just a couple hours ago, I almost started crying because a girl who struggles in math realized she did well enough on her final to get a B in class for the semester.  She was thrilled, and those are the moments I realize how much I love my job.

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