It is the end of the school year and seniors have checked out from their high school experience. The sounds of "we out" and "I'm grown" echo through the hallways when they are asked to still comply with school rules. For most of the students, it is all in good fun. They are good natured and even reflective of their time in high school. They realize that it is the ending of one time in their lives and the exciting beginning of another.
For a select few, who might not have lived up to their potential for most of their 4 years in high school, during this last week they kick it into overdrive and realize that time is almost up and they need to make some changes quick. For some it is realizing that asking for a new ID to be printed each week actually does have a cost associated with it and for others it is a realization that there are some deadlines that cannot be moved.
Graduation practice was a bit like herding cats at times. Again, the seniors are in a good mood and just want to have a fun time when we are trying to prep them for the formal ceremony of graduation. We attempt to explain the difference between the graduation ceremony for the high school and the graduation party they would have at their houses. They get some guidelines on appropriate dress for the ceremony, a warming about high heeled shoes, one final lesson in decorum, an introduction to take with the left and shake with the right, and the reminder that while this is their graduation ceremony, it is also the graduation ceremony for all of the other graduates and we need to be respectful of everyone and let each student's name be heard. There was a lot of repetition and a lot of tedious reminders for the students. I'll admit, I was tired at the end.
We had some raffle drawings for the seniors and two students won trunks filled with items that would help them get their dorm rooms set up for the upcoming college adventure. I have had some dealings with one of the students who won a trunk. This student was signed up for an advanced class in their senior year. After realizing that it would be some rigorous work to successfully complete the course, this student wanted to drop the course. Based on their stated career path and college plan, which never wavered, I worked with the student and their counselor to advise them that leaving the course was not the best plan of action. There were phone calls and meetings with parents, some comments made to me that I was not caring of students, and even a phone call to the district office which resulted in another meeting. Long story short, the student remained in the class and supports and interventions were cleared laid out.
So I am helping this student out to the car with this trunk and the student said the following:
"You know, I think I was a bit of a snot to you earlier in the year. I ended up staying in the class and I even took the AP exam last week. While I didn't get the grade I wanted in the class, I did pass the course and when I take the course in college, I will have some familiarity with the material and I should be more successful in college. I ended up coming out on top because of what you pushed me to do."
That is what made it one of THOSE days; A reminder of the reason we do the work that we do.