Summer School

Tomorrow, I start teaching summer school.  I’m not sure how it’s done anywhere else, but in our school district, it is mostly used for students who failed other classes and need to make up a semester class.  Some students can use it to get ahead or take a class they couldn’t fit in during the regular school year.  There are also the students who take summer school the summer after they were supposed to graduate, but they didn’t quite get in all of the credits they needed.  This summer, over half of my class is composed of these “super seniors” who need to pass my class to get their diplomas.

The nice thing about this is that they are highly motivated.  Our summer school course is four hours per day for three weeks.  It’s a pretty quick way to make up a semester of class.  These students know that if they can just stick it out for three weeks, they are done.  It’s usually all the incentive they need.

On the other hand, there’s a number of reasons that these students didn’t graduate on time.  Sometimes those reasons come to the surface during these three weeks and make it very hard to continue.  Personality problems, life conflicts, peer disputes, etc..  Oftentimes there is more at work here than a lazy student who didn’t get all of his work in.  Last summer, two of my students were taking the course because they missed a semester of school to have a baby.  One of those two had strong emotions all of the time.  She was loving, hating, crying, laughing–all within one day.  Eventually, the angry part of her personality took her out the door.

I wonder sometimes, though, if our summer school plan is actually a good one, or if we’re just going through the motions.  If it is good, it probably says something about block scheduling.  If it is not, I don’t know what that says.  I just know that I don’t look forward to summer school like I look forward to the regular school year.

So, I am just as excited as most of my super seniors to report to school tomorrow.  Yay.

I am the language lover and these are my thoughts.

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