Teaching seniors is a blessing and a curse. On the one end, they are at the finish line and they only want to work so they can graduate. On the other hand, they think senior year is the end so they stop putting forth the effort needed to maintain their grades and GPAs. I never understood how they could work so hard to get to senior year and then just stop.
I was handing out papers the other day and had a very candid outburst to and at my kids. I was disappointed that many of then had not submitted work. I was disappointed in their grades. And I told them exactly how I felt about it. Basically what I said to them was that at the end of the day, no matter where the road of life may take them, they would have to use the skills I was trying to teach them. I let them know that it would be best to learn these lessons now while they are free as opposed to getting to an institution of higher education only to have to pay and still fail. I remind them constantly that I am at their disposal, but, as with any resource, they must use me and my knowledge wisely.
I tend to not sugar coat anything with my kids because the world won't stop and consider their feelings. That's not to say that I don't care about how they feel. On the contrary, I tend to care too much. I love my kids and want them to have the best of everything. I want them to have everything that I did not so I tend to tell them of all of my experiences and I don't sugar coat anything. So when I see them slacking and not putting forth any effort, I go completely off. Many times they just don't realize the opportunities being afforded them until someone puts into perspective the way the skills being taught can be used in real life.
With that being said, we have been working on MLA documentation style and the students don't understand why they need to learn this skill. Many have openly stated that they will not be going to a college but a trade school. So being who I am, I had to let them know that they will write papers in trade school as well. I let them know that I gave them everything they needed to be successful and if they needed anything else that they should see me for help because that's what I'm there for. I told them that we have to work together so that we can be successful because at the end of the day "we all have to eat." It was at that point one of the students look to me and said, "Ms. Brown, you're my only motivation." I was so shocked to hear it but I promptly responded, "Baby girl, if you let me, I'll be your biggest cheerleader."
Sometimes the kids need to know the "how" and the "why" behind the "what" so they can make connections. Not only that, they also need to know that someone cares enough ensure that the connections are made. They just want to know why the information is significant. And with that, I am only too willing to oblige and be there for them. I just want to see them shine. I want them to make it. I want them to have the best of everything that life has to offer them so that they can be better than I am. I just want to give them all that I didn't have.