Sunday, June 12, 2016

It's the Final Countdowwwwwn! Beach chairs, hard work, and carbonated rewards

Every September, I tell the kids that students who score 103% in my class in June are exempt from taking the final. 

Every test, I remind kids that the final is given after textbooks are turned in, AND that the final comes out of the questions on their tests; I remind them that our test correction sessions are very valuable for their future June selves. 

Every assignment, I give a bonus point to students who really did a fine job. This is how people are able to earn more than 100%.

Every June, I give a comprehensive final that covers everything from Jamestown all the way up to wherever we land; this year, it's the end of the Civil War (no assassination, no Reconstruction, no Jim Crow: where did the time go?). 

Every June, the students who have achieved that dizzying number (ok, so it's really 102.5% because I believe in rounding up) sit in lawn chairs outside the classroom, drinking the soda of their choice (which I supply), munching on snacks (which they bring), playing with their electronics, listening to music, signing yearbooks, chatting, and basically feeling care-free and special as a reward for their commitment and fine work in my class over the school year.  Mathematically speaking, even if they scored a zero on the 50 point final, they'd still have an A- in the course.  Scholastically speaking, dang.

Every year, I am delighted to celebrate their outstanding achievement with their names in my window. 
This is how it looks in my brain. The reality contains considerably more blacktop and zero grass. 

Every year, it's a pain to round up beach chairs from the teachers and search for the sodas they like (inevitably, someone wants a @#$! Cactus Cooler or a !@#$ Welch's Grape Soda--WHERE CAN I BUY JUST ONE CAN OF THESE?), but I don't really's the least I can do for the kids who've done the most. 

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