January 8, 2013

Setting High Goals for a New Semester

I don't know about you, but when I was a student, there was nothing better than a do-over. It was the thing I liked best about a new year or a new semester: the chance to do it better. I think we all need a good "reset" in our lives from time to time... I guess that's the point of a New Year's Resolution, right? When I worked in Corporate America, I once told my boss that this was something I missed about school. Somehow, having an annual review and then walking back to my cubicle to continue the same work as before the meeting didn't have the same effect.

But I digress...

When I was a kid, I would always come back from a break (whether summer or Christmas... remember when it was still called Christmas break?) when a fresh attitude and resolve to be on my best behavior and get straight As.

I guess I expected my students to do the same. I don't think this was a lofty expectation because my former students also seemed to be re-motivated at the beginning of a new semester. My current students, though, not so much. They came back to school this week with the exact same attitudes and behavior problems they had in December.

Boo. Hiss.

I really wanted them to want to do better. I even tried to inspire them with a journal activity about their resolutions for the new year/semester. I thought, for sure, I'd get to read all their promises of angelic behavior and diligence. Instead, I read about how my boys were planning to "get more girls" in the new year. I wish I were kidding! I actually had to help a student "expand" this writing. I asked him how he planned to meet this goal, and his response was, "With my good looks. Everyone can't look like this!"

At least they make me laugh!

2 comments:

  1. Our ELA teacher began the year back with the video 211 degrees. You can find it on Youtube. Just a thought if you'd like another pick-me-up day for your students. Basically it's one degree separating water from just being "hot" to "boiling", which is what is desired. So many stop at 211 degrees. . .or ever 208 degrees. . .it's probably a good exercise to have young and old think about once in awhile.

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    1. I just checked out the video. I think my students will like it. Thanks for the idea!

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