“In the end we have to come to an agreement. If it so happens that I disagree with your selection and support of your grade, it does not mean that the conversation is over. I am not seeking to broker the power of my position in a way that subjugates the power I have given you as a partner in determining what grade best reflects your learning in my class this semester. I am not going to have sold you the idea of select and support all along only to withdraw it at the end. If I disagree, it simply means that you may have to come at it from a different angle. The conversation is over only after we arrive at a place in which we are both comfortable. More, if I disagree, please know that it is coming from my feeling that I have a professional responsibility to make sure that the grade and evidence you provide as support match up. It is not personal. I would hope by now that you all know that I like and care about each of you. In fact, I probably like you too much, and if I am not careful that factor could cloud my professional judgment. It is my earnest goal to agree with you. That is my desired default, but in the event that I find myself unable to accept your grade selection, I will steer from that desire and fulfill my professional obligation. Have to, kiddos.”
I shared various versions of this with each of my classes yesterday, but this captures the gist of my sentiments as I discussed the end game with my kids. Upon reflection this morning, I am struck by and stuck with the wonder–worry–of whether my relationships with my kids have led me to a place that clouds my judgment, that affects my objectivity. Do I like my kids too much? Am I able, will I be able to set aside this fondness, this affection, this adoration as we enter into our grade negotiations? My mind says that I am, that I will be able to hold the line when necessary, and I really do believe that, for my kids’ learning truly does matter to me as much as their persons, but my heart sends signals that give me pause, that cause me doubt. But the disconnect between heart and head is a familiar face, a comfortable countenance as I gaze into my mirror, as I reflect upon my person and my practice. In the end, I suppose I will just have to trust that whatever I do, I will do with my kids’ best interests in my mind—and in my heart. I will do right by them in the best way I can. Care about them too much? Like them too much? Maybe. Possibly. Okay, undeniably. Sorry. It’s who I am.
We have a two-hour late start today, so the trail is significantly shorter, especially since we have an hour-long pep-con at the end of the day. 25 minute periods. Ugh.
Along today’s trail we will…
…begin with Smiles and Frowns.
…have time to organize portfolios and prepare for conferences on Tuesday.
…end with a Sappy Sy Rhyme.
Happy Friday, all. Have a great weekend.
Do. Reflect. Do Better.