Stretching for Excellence
I think of posts all the time, the problem is time. Right, isn’t it for everyone?
As an Advanced Placement World History teacher, I expect excellence from my students. I require them to read, take notes, write essays, etc. Then when some struggle, I get the real story. They are in six classes and attempting to achieve excellence in all of them. Plus they play sports, volunteer, yada, yada, yada. I get it, but what is the alternative? If they don’t do well in AP World, then it will bring down your GPA or maybe set a precedent for future success in AP classes or affect their chances of getting into that premier university. Or what? I also know that if it wasn’t me, it would be another teacher. I do my best helping student try and figure out their priorities and focus their energies on what they need to do. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. They are all stretching, stretching for themselves or his/her parents, or stretching for some idea or dream. Generally, it is all good. Sometimes a little misguided or misdirected, but who am I?
I’ve always been sensitive to this, probably because I’ve always done the same. I’ve stretched myself so thin that sometimes excellence is tough to achieve. I could live and breath AP World History or photography or this ed tech world (that I’ve removed myself from) or…. , but then I wouldn’t have anything left for all of the other things and, oh yeah, my family. (Which, for you young parents, gets even more involved as the years pass.)
Throughout the school year I always tell my AP students, if you try your best then you have to be happy with the results (good or bad). I try to live by that myself, even if I think I am coming up short in some areas. I’m stretching, but my perception of excellence is relative.
Off to grade some more AP essays.