Break Doth Conclude…Yon Edu-Mountain Beckons!

Weirdly accurate.

Weirdly accurate.

Weirdly accurate for several reasons. Yes…I was officially contacted to tell me that I must return to school, and resume my regularly scheduled duties. Accurate because Vacation Time Pony is once again resting, and Zebra Pony once again riding shotgun with me. Also accurate because not only will my 2DS (with Lego Batman ) be in my bag, for the tiny amount of break time I might get…I went through a mess of my old cards and put together a pretty effective looking “Solomon Grundy” Themed Magic Deck, for use at lunch.

So yes…weirdly accurate.

The final page is odd, mostly because of the lack of backgrounds. I did the two compositions separately, and digitally merged the page. Without background of any kind, the first panel suggests either that the Grumpy Cat-Lord is huge, or that there has been an odd size shift in panel two. Once again, the importance of background…something that is easy to forget.

Normally when I do a two or three panel page, I do them on the same page…avoiding that issue. This was interesting, as a result…an unusual issue from the expanded creative capacity of the digital age.

Panel One.  He came out COOL.

Panel One. He came out COOL.

I’m very much looking forward to being back. It’s odd to say that, vacation is something that you look forward to. Still…the last several weeks of school have been pretty rewarding. Between the Magic Tournament, and the daily instruction/discussion of “Catcher in the Rye,” I’ve really been able to recapture a whole lot of why I started teaching in the first place. The best parts of the job, as opposed to the worst. Too often we get focused upon the worst parts of anything…and when it’s education, that’s inherently a Bad Thing.

So much of the average day is simply defined by the teacher’s attitude toward the day. If I am motivated about the content, looking forward to the discussion…then that completely changes the tone of the room. If I’m tired, unmotivated, generally unhappy…that also sets a tone, one that isn’t good for the class at all. It seems like a simple thing, but really…few teachers get it. I think because most teachers were “good students,” and generally self motivated. For them…it didn’t matter too much what sort of tone the teacher set.

I was thinking about that a whole lot on Monday. I had walked to the game store to get some Common Cards to round out the Grundy deck. As I walked back, a person called out to me…”Teacher!” I turned…it’s pretty rare for me to be “outed” as a teacher in the area where I live. It was the parent of a student that I have right now, a student that had improved their grade in my class by leaps and bounds.

This parent was vocal and outgoing in criticizing her young student. Strident, in fact. I was actually quite glad that I could say a few relatively positive things before she caught her bus…and it made me think as I walked, and considered the balance of the Grundy Deck.

The student in question isn’t the nicest person in my classes. That being said…why would they be? Given the opportunity, that student’s own parent took some real time to light into them, in a chance meeting. That’s a lot of negativity. I started thinking that the student might just be succeeding in class because we gave them an opportunity to succeed or fail, without any real judgment of the person…just the work. By “we”, I mean my co-teacher, aide, and myself…it is my most heavily staffed class.

I don’t have much of a connection with this young person. No teacher, no matter how good, connects with everyone. Still, as I write this…I’m actually interested in seeing that kid, if only to be a less negative influence in their life than some of the others.

I actually really like this panel.

I actually really like this panel.

So, yes…this will be the final Ten Week grading period. I’m amazed really…it feels like the school year just started, and that the Edu-Mountain is still a fresh, unexplored setting. In a number of ways it is…heck, I will be helping to supervise Prom on Friday. I’ve never done that before. Perhaps that’s why I feel like I’m doing a better job than I have been in years…everything is fresh, new…everything needs to be re-invented. It’s similar to being at the beginning of my career again, with all the hard won experience to inform the best way to go.

Anyway…with that enthusiastic brick of text, I’m jumping into the Final Push. With a Professional Development Day today…I should have plenty of time to draw.

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