The end of a semester in a High School is always busy with last minute assignment collections, stressful exam prep and heaps of marking. It’s super easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget to reflect on the amazing moments experienced in your classes.
As I pause and look back at this semester, I can’t help but focus on the special group of students in my 20-1 English class. All of my classes are great and make me smile, laugh and learn on a daily basis, but this group of grade 11 students came together with such a unique energy and accomplished so many amazing things in 4 short months. The growth that I’ve seen in them through this semester is remarkable, but most importantly they have reinforced in me the power of being positive, of laughing daily and of pushing each other to excel.
The power of creativity is a lost art at times in High School English, but these guys have brought it back in full force. Reflecting on the semester, I definitely learned new ways to reflect on a novel and they showed me different methods of sharing their thoughts. The critical thinking that was put into their projects and the extraordinary insight displayed has reminded me that even when things get busy, it’s important to let the creativity flow.
One of my proudest moments this semester was during the Hamper drive for charity over Christmas. This group treated the project like they were shopping for their own family members. Initially the focus was bringing in enough goods to “beat other classes”, but after a week the goal organically shifted to ensuring that Christmas was special for our family. They brought in over 17 boxes of food, presents, books and Christmas treats, and wowed me further one day by choosing to donate snacks brought in for them to eat on snack day to our family instead. I loved watching them grow as caring citizens through this experience, and it again highlights to me that with enough positivity and excitement in a room, people will come together to achieve great things.
I have learned a lot this semester, and I’m so thankful that I have stopped to reflect on it all. Even though this class will move on to other teachers next term, I will remember the magic that we created in block 1 English.
Laura Robinson is a high school English teacher at Spruce Grove Composite High School.