Saturday, August 22, 2009

Week One Done

I'm tired.

With the first week done and gone I can safely say that I'm pretty exhausted, yet I'm satisfied with my teaching for week one.  Actually, I really don't know how I'm feeling because I'm just too tired to really comprehend it.

My classes are pretty good.  For those that don't know, I'm now teaching AP U.S. History.  That's probably kind of funny considering the stink that came about last year about me and college prep U.S. History, but I actually volunteered to take the job.  I won't get into the "why" of it.  People think that I'm crazy for teaching three Advanced Placement classes, two Comp Gov's and one U.S.  I can do it at this point.  I can't say how I'm going to be in a few months, because I'm looking into the future and wondering if I am going to be able to expend this kind of energy every day.  The task is quite daunting.  How daunting?

How about daunting enough to question whether or not to coach basketball this season.  Of course, during this time of year, I start to question everything that seems to get in the way of making the academic portion of my job function smoothly.  The no-hoop thought was erased pretty quickly when some of my ex-ballplayers come up and started to talk with me.  It might be too much in my blood to ever really be totally out of it. 

My classes are good, and full.  Full 34 in all but APUSH, which has 24 and might be declining.  I was under a little pressure to keep the numbers up, but I'm pretty much done with trying to convince kids that they are AP students when they don't want to do the work.  Many transferred out before the year began because the class conflicted with Leadership class, which focuses on community affairs and student government.  I'm not going to beg this type of student to stay in the class when it is clear that Advanced Placement is not their priority.  APUSH can be rigorous, and I understand the unattractive nature.  However these students enrolled in the class are going to nail the test, kill two college classes, and be better prepared for college than almost anyone on campus.  Sounds pretty to me. 

I've had only one issue within the classroom, and that was a student that hasn't liked me for awhile making snide comments in class for the first two days.  I simply refused to acknowledge the acts, kept the lessons engaging, and it vanished by Wednesday.  Otherwise, all is cool. 

Now, that's not the attitude of the overall campus.  It seems like everyone I talk to is feeling overworked, and taking serious looks at the cost/benefit of their input on their job.  We got our test scores.  We made the overall school target but failed in a sub-group.  Like usual, you can make serious connections between attendance and test scores, and that is perfectly evidenced in my three classes of Juniors last year (which I'll talk about later).  It makes many, including myself, just start to not care any more about the idiotic test.  You can't teach those that are not in your classroom, period.  Yet I'm still responsible for the those students that falter because of their inability to make it to free public education.  And they wonder why teachers don't like their pay tied to the 16 year old who can't wake up in the morning to go to class.  Mix into this the on-going, and going, and on campus and the general mood is just damn tired, after only a week.

Still, I'm a satisfied tired.  What's more, I can teach Gov and Econ without much prep because it is finally at a place that I really like.  Tests are ready, power points are up to standard, and lessons flow much better.  The year could be very, very good.........if the energy remains.               

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