Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Has it really been a week?


It must be those essays that I assigned at the end of last week coming back and biting me in the ass. For some reason I didn't manage my time in terms of assigning writing very well, which left me doing a lot of grading this week. My Intro classes wrote 9/11 reflections, my college prep did an essay regarding Morgan Spurlock's "Free Speech" piece on CBS, and International Studies wrote about Bush's Speech. Lots of writing.

Week two and the beginning of week three have shown me a couple of observations regarding year thus far. Probably the most significant thing that I witness is that I've become enormously reflective on my own teaching. I have been really critiquing nearly everything that I do and I'm in a better position now than ever before to fix it. I don't have to seriously lesson plan in Government, since I'm pretty set in curriculum. This allows me to focus on teaching styles and to eliminate weaknesses in my classroom management. I'm been much more into physical presence (moving around the classroom during lecture/discussion) and conserving energy for the day. I'm still pretty worn out by lunch, but I'm getting better and selecting areas to expand energy. Both these things are going to continue to remain a focus.

Another observation is that the honeymoon for the beginning of school is completely over. I've taken two IPods and three cell phones so far, a record for the beginning of the school year. One IPod and two of the phone problems were in one class during silent reading. There is definitely an issue with Intro level kids being allowed to act this way in other classes, because most college prep level students are not acting out. I'm not saying that they are stupid or childish, I'm saying that other people on campus are equating their lower academic levels with some permission to act like 6th graders. Some are beginning to run into the wall in my class and pretty soon we will see a select group try to seriously push me, to their detriment.

Finally, there is a great disturbance in the Force at the school. I really can't put it into words, and it is probably best that I don't, but I can only say that environment is more tense and edgy that in years past.....and I don't mean the kids. I've been asked by three separate people to be on committees for this and that, all of which I have declined because I'm getting a feeling that being outspoken at this point in time is not necessarily a good thing. I only know bits of pieces of information, all of it not very uplifting, which is why my focus needs to stay student based. In the end, the important stuff happens in the classroom.
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