It is that time of year again. The general populace is thinking of Christmas but teachers are busily finishing off reports and reflecting on creative ways of telling the truth without engendering the wrath of protective parents. Do I write, “Johnny is an enthusiastic student whose energy knows no bounds” or “Johnny is uncontrollable and has no sense or discipline or self-control”? Do I write, “Mary is unmotivated“ or “Mary reflects all the sloth of her parents”? Um, I wonder?
Before the report writing there was the marking. Exams, essays and other pieces that would provide evidence for the reports, all had to be assessed. Writing and meaning had to be deciphered. By this stage of the year the shoulders are hunched, the eyes bleary and the footstep slow.
The Thanksgiving and Graduation evening is special. Students who have worked hard and achieved highly are acknowledged. My favourite awards are for students who have worked hard and progressed but have not necessarily achieved high marks but need to be encouraged for their effort. Also students graduate from one section of the school and move to the next and the Year 12 students are acknowledged as they leave the College. This year, after being, homeroom teacher to the same group of students for the last three years I have that nagging parental conflict of hope and fear, and excitement and trepidation as another group of Year 12 students step out into the next stage of their lives. May God go before them.
And then, next year, I can start all over again …