Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Last Line

My tenth graders performed the last two acts of Cyrano de Bergerac today. One of my boys (LH), who's been stone silent most of the year, volunteered to play the title character in the death scene. All the other students in that scene tend to "act out" in class anyway. As I expected, the performance was delightful. LH switched between a well-projected reading voice, an overdone and slightly British dramatic oration, and channeling the Pythons, cranky old men, and screaming eels all at once. The play's last line is Cyrano's, and has been judged by my students to be "the worst last line ever, in anything".

LH fell into a classmate's arms, lowered himself gracefully to the ground, and howled the last line: "My white pluuuuuume!"

Unbeknownst to him, my cooperating teacher had come in to watch. As I sat trying to regain my composure and the rest of the group (deservedly) patted each other on the back, LH sat up and grinned out at the class. His face fell when he spotted Mrs Donovan. "Hm," he said, "didn't know Mrs. Donovan was here. That's awkward."

After the frenzy following that brilliant performance dissipated, the topic of "when is Miss C done teaching us" came up. The answer is next Thursday, I told them, and then I thought, Next Thursday?!

I only have four days left with my kids. After working with them every day for twelve weeks, I have four days left. All of college was building up to this fourteen-week decathlon, and I have four days left with my students.

At this point, I don't know how to feel about it. I don't know if I'm personally satisfied with my performance as a student teacher. I know, it's student teaching and it's not supposed to be perfect, but I could have done something more, something better, something else. I don't know. They all get their final tests from me next week; we'll see how that goes. I get my final evaluation from my supervisor and co-op on Tuesday. We'll see how that goes.

As student teaching wraps up and graduation creeps closer, expect more introspection and sentimentality. Consider yourselves warned, dear readers.

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