Today I proctored 33 final exams in the form of mock job interviews. My students' emotions ranged from terrified to flustered and from calm to star-struck. I got many hugs, a lot of "thank you's," and more awkward, clammy handshakes than I care to recall.
I'm noticing a trend with my kids that the worst students seem to make the best and most interesting finals. They're usually the most raw, but those students aren't afraid to take a few seconds to think about their answers before they say them. They're less rehearsed and much more personable.
Take Philip for example, he has come to my class three times this entire semester. The classes he does come to, he sleeps through. He was terrified today, but was good at keeping a straight face and answered the questions honestly and earnestly.
Then he sang me a song. A straight-up R&B ballad. He rocked it.
Then he proceeded to apologize profusely for missing class. "I'm so lazy, teacher. I sleep through all of your classes and I can't wake up in time to go to them. Will you give me a passing grade, teacher?"
"I'll need to tally your score, Philip. You have a lovely voice though."
Most of the interviews take only five or ten minutes, but it's fascinating to watch how their attitudes shift one or two minutes in. The first question is always painfully awkward and too rehearsed, then once they calm down I get to see their personality a little bit more. I felt like a proud (but exhausted) mama bear today once the exams were finished...my students actually seem to like and respect me. That's a good feeling considering I walked into the job without a clue where to start.