Saying Goodbye to My American Seminar Kids

Saying goodbye to my American Seminar students came first–this was the first class I gave back to my cooperating teacher, and while they were moving beyond The Scarlet Letter, I slaved over their grades in the back of the room. 😛

This was a great group of kids! I had so much fun with them, from arguing over endings to The Scarlet Letter, debating on paper due dates, talking about figurative language in Anne Bradstreet’s poetry, drawing Modern-Day Scarlet Letters, and eating snacks together on the last day–I loved these kids and will miss them dearly!

7th-hour
The Norton Anthologies of American Literature were our textbooks of choice all semester. Here my seventh hour is reading them diligently.
Posing with our Norton textbooks on my last day!
Posing with our Norton textbooks on my last day!

One of the most thoughtful and surprising things, was that my second hour put together a going away party for me! They coordinated treats, snacks, juice, silverware, plates–the whole thing! One student even baked a homemade cake! They got me balloons, a card, and red pens because “you need to grade in read and tear our writing apart!” (apparently purple pen is too soft!)

Here’s my second period:

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The treats my students brought me on the last day!
And here’s us getting the treats they brought for me on my last day! [Sorry, it’s a blurry selfie!]
Selfie with my 2nd period!

Finally, I had to get a selfie with the group!

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The balloons my students got me!
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The goodies I got for changing a paper due date (funny thing is, I was going to change it regardless!)

I think what I’m going to miss the most about these kids is their willingness to learn and to be pushed outside of their comfort zones. I really challenged them to analyze deeper, work harder, and try to see how literature, like The Scarlet Letter and others, can still be relevant today.

I think the biggest thing I learned from this class is to be confident. It’s been a few years since I’ve touched American Literature, but I worked hard to catch up on the reading and plan lessons that would create a positive and intellectually stimulating learning environment. I’m thankful for this experience and I’m definitely going to miss this group!

And finally, one of the most touching notes I’ve ever received:

studentnote

This is a note one of my students wrote and gave to me on the last day. I almost cried. Especially after hearing some negative words from a parent at conferences, this was the support and encouragement I needed! Such a small thing that made such a huge difference! I realized that what I do really does have an impact!

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