My yearbook staff had their first deadline Monday. It was stressful, more so than usual for a variety of reasons. Like all setbacks in my classroom, I look at all of the relevant info and eventually blame myself.
My yearbook kids are sweet. Adorable, self-motivated, socially competent geniuses. 4th period is a wealth of potential and skill. They’ve got talent oozing out of their eye sockets.
And I’ve got too many of them.
Again, I love them all. Absolutely every single last one deserves their spot on the staff. They’re pulling their weight. Some more than others, sure, but everyone’s performing.
Here’s my issue: Too many seniors.
Out of 22 staff members, I’ve only got 5 underclassmen. Seniors–with all of their strengths and foibles–dominate the classroom.
I didn’t think it would be such an issue, but these kids–chin-deep in AP classes and extracurriculars–have senioritis nipping at their tails, beckoning them with its sulty Siren song (to mix too many metaphors and an Homeric allusion). Everything in their work ethic says “I can get this yearbook done!” while their natural high school clock is begging them to take a day off and see what’s up with The Price Is Right.
After seeing how they handled the pressure of their first deadline (again, it’s supposed to be a relatively easy one), I can tell it’s going to be a rough year, wherein I’m praising one kid’s determination one day and cursing his laziness the next.