Seniors in their last semester

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Tulipteacher, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    Jan 17, 2017

    For the first time ever I will be teaching seniors. I am pretty worried about having them for spring semester--supposedly at my school senioritis hits big-time. There are supposedly a lot of problems with senior attendance and not doing assignments. I will be teaching English 4, which is required for graduation. Many of my students will not be going to a 4 year college, so I can't hold that over their heads.

    Does anyone have any tips?
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 18, 2017

    I personally believe that at that age and that point in their schooling, they are the ones responsible for their own choices and actions. Don't torture yourself trying to get them all to work or do assignments. Let the consequences of not doing work speak for themselves. Encourage them to join in the learning, but don't nag or try to force them to join in. It's likely to have little effect at that stage anyway.
     
  4. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Companion

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    Jan 18, 2017

    You may not be able to hold college over their heads, but passing your class IS required to graduate, which should be an equally effective (if not more so) motivator. And like Peregrin5 said, if they don't do the work, there will be consequences and those consequences will speak for themselves. Document whatever issues you have in case parents or administrators start asking questions, but "if they don't do the work then they won't pass/graduate" should be fair in anyone's eyes.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 18, 2017

    Just let them know that you will not pass anyone just so they can graduate. Even if they have a 59 %, they have to earn that 1% to make it 60 (D-). And then stick to it.
     
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  6. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jan 18, 2017

    This is my second year teaching senior English. I actually think seniors are really fun! It is a privilege, in my mind, to work with the most "mature" (in theory...) students with the most background knowledge, and to be the ones to help them transition out into the great beyond. For some, you might be their last English teacher ever...!

    Our school has a huge senior project requirement that keeps them going (for the most part) right up to the bitter end. If you don't have anything school-wide, I would come up with a project with a presentation aspect, like creating a TED talk or digital storytelling. Make it as public as possible -- can you invite in community judges? This will keep them on their toes since they won't want to be seen as unprepared.
     
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  7. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jan 18, 2017

    I like to keep my seniors busy second semester. We read three novels and do a final project, usually a presentation. I actually wish our school had a real senior project requirement for all students.
     
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  8. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jan 19, 2017

    Our senior project gets a lot of grief for being "extra work" for senior teachers, but honestly, I don't know if I'd want to teach seniors without it. It really is both the carrot and the stick that keeps us all going right up to the end!
     
  9. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    Jan 19, 2017

    Thanks. Great advice. I like the literature I'll be teaching (first time I'll get to teach Macbeth), so at least there's that.
     
  10. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jan 20, 2017

    If you're teaching the play for the first time, check out the Folger Library's Shakespeare Set Free curriculum.
     

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