The rain is falling, the grass is growing, flowers are on the fruit trees, and teachers are starting their final units of the year. Spring is in the air! Schools are preparing for spring sports, spring concerts, spring dances, and everything else that needs to be done before the school year ends.
In the classroom, teachers are trying to prepare students for final exams, state exams and a plethora of other things that need to be accomplished before the end of the school year. Students, however; have their own priorities. In addition to afterschool activities and classroom responsibilities, students are dealing with the social developments of spring. When you put the teacher’s agenda together with the students priorities, you end up with a very challenging end of the school year.
I was talking to some friends of mine who are teachers and they said that in May and June they are working with their students on state testing and end of the year projects. They said that they are also attending and helping at concerts, art shows, spring plays, and school sporting events. This makes for a very busy and exciting time of the year.
Then I started talking to friends of mine who are education professionals that work out of the classroom and they told me that this time of year is busy for them too. Guidance counselors are trying to figure out where the best place for every student is going to be next year and they are working with the social workers to help students get what they need to be successful. The school nurses are busy dealing with student allergies, dehydration, STDs and physicals for summer employment.
The more people I spoke with, the more I realized I hadn’t even scratched the surface. Attendance officers find a spike in absenteeism because of the nice weather and behavior specialists have to spend more time and energy on drug abuse and gang initiations. Some of the students are asking for extra help so they can pass a class or be better prepared for an exam, and other students stop trying or even stop coming to school altogether because they have given up.
Every school has its own challenges and agenda, so does every teacher and so does every student. The dance we have to perform every spring is trying to address the challenges, complete the agenda, and enjoy the successes of the school year.