Some moments wrap so tightly around me, I have no choice but to write them down. So it was with the May morning breeze cooling off an otherwise overheated week, that I glanced around the fields of Colerain High School at the mixture of teens and teachers and had to smile.
A week earlier, we finally received the results of the test that holds our students’ sophomore year hostage. Thankfully our banner can stay –we are excellent once again.
Now it was time for our OGT party.
And amid donuts and Deejays, the teenagers mingled among their teachers while the tunes of country, pop, and hip-hip hugged the air.
And that’s when I smiled.
As a Sophomore English teacher I understand the importance of the Ohio Graduation Test. I get the significance it can hold for my students as well as my district. Still, sometimes as much as we try to make the necessary information palatable, it seems we teachers must spend months cramming test answers down our students’ throats instead of feeding them morsels of knowledge to whet their academic appetites.
And perhaps it was this fact combined with the juxtaposition of the mild mini moment of the party coupled with the intenseness of the end of the year academic demands, and the worry of piling up papers to grade, that made me stop and take notice. But when I looked out and saw teachers and students laughing, bouncing soccer balls, hula-hooping and just sharing this time together, I had an “aha!” moment.
For, standing before me were not test scores and statistics.
No, standing before me were the adults and teenagers I had worked closely with to get as many across the finish line as possible. Sadly, some students remain shy of the goal, while, happily, others have flown past any preconceived success estimation. But that day we celebrated the coordinated effort of so many individuals working together, culminating in just having fun together.
And as I was competing in my own hula-hoop contest with one of my students, she giggled at me and said, “Mrs. Bundy, when I’m a senior and look back –this is going to one of my best memories from high school.”
Now, that is an excellent rating that beats any banner or ribbon anywhere