Day: December 20, 2018

Celebrating the End of the Marking Period

I love teaching. It has always been my career of preference from a young age. Perhaps it all started when I found a special teacher at school who I loved and admired. I started this blog to promote the profession and share the fun—and challenges. No two days are alike in the classroom and the students change year to year. I learn from them as much as they learn from me. Certain times of the year are noteworthy, and not just holidays and vacations. The end of the marking period is a big deal, too.

This year I got a bunch of my fellow teachers together for a party in the teachers’ lounge to celebrate this milestone once again. So much work gets done at this time of the semester and a reward is always welcome. It’s no big deal, but just enough to denote the end of another season of grading and evaluations. We have a cake, of course, and a few short speeches. It is a time of camaraderie and relaxation after a time of tension to meet deadlines. We bond as a group, a needed activity, since we spend so much time on our own.

We have one tradition that is a little different from other schools, or so I am told. We bring in a shredder from Shredder Lab and ceremoniously destroy our lesson plans as a group. It is a cathartic and oddly funny act. If a lesson or two went badly, we don’t feel a pang of regret at all. Instead, we hear loud cries of joy and laughter. Then life goes back to normal. It is all part and parcel of a teacher’s world, and  it is a wonderful world indeed. I never want to complain.

Other parties come at the end of the term right before vacation. We don’t shred anything –ha!—but we do relate where we are going and anything special that will be coming in our immediate futures. Then we are off on our own for several months, so we can be refreshed when the new school year begins in the fall.

Teaching is a very traditional career full of designated points of time during the year and multiple celebrations as mentioned above. Graduation is not the least of our regular routines, and everyone looks forward to this special event. This year, I am going to be practical and a bit sarcastic by suggesting we use old bags of shredded paper as confetti for the final party of the season. Now that is a way to repurpose some old trash. I wonder what the reaction will be. Given the routine nature of what we do, teachers have to get creative now and then to perk things up. This is my latest brainchild and I will let you know if it happens.