I don’t often write about the Young Human Factory, especially not seriously. I think it’s unkind to use the Products’ foibles as blog-fodder. They are works in progress.
But last week the boss sent me a lengthy e-mail as a “matter of professional courtesy” – a nice euphemism for “you have no choice in the matter.”
No, I’m not losing my position as Quality Control Inspector. But someone else is taking over my International Baccalaureate classes.
Talking to friends and family, I’ve expressed relief that I won’t have to put in the extra hours to individualize the instruction and to find up-to-date reading material. Not to mention having four preps! (Technically we’re limited to three.)
But here I’ll be honest: I’m also unhappy.
Teaching the lower levels is easier because I don’t have to create a brand-new course every year. But IB classes are immensely rewarding, personally and professionally.
I loved watching my students decide that they’re going to push themselves to achieve.** Seeing their progress made me very happy, especially in their weak areas. I never enjoyed taking the red pen to their compositions – particularly when I created rolling waves of red across the paper – but I wrote detailed notes so they could rewrite. This year’s seniors in particular have gone from awkwardly scrawling disconnected ideas to writing easily and well.
It’s been my pride that my students have done so well. Their average IB test scores have been stellar: perfect scores are not unusual. And when they continue on to university and careers using their studies? I can’t even describe the gratification.
But maybe my pride is just an inflated sense of importance. I’m not irreplaceable. My superior made it clear that students were reluctant to take the full diploma programme because of my classes. I earned the reputation for expecting
a lot too much. With my colleague taking over, perhaps more students will take the courses and earn the diploma.
At any rate, I’m not going to dwell on it. My students take their tests in a few weeks, and that’s the important focus.
**You may think, “Don’t most good students push themselves?” Ha ha! Recall when you were a teen: Would you rather have worked hard to earn a B or work less hard to earn an A?