Saturday, August 17, 2013

We ready……

My wife and I saw three foxes this week while walking our neighborhood at 6:30 in the morning.  They were cool.

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What?  You were expecting some transformational message out of the fact that I saw three foxes?  Seriously?  What do I look like, Oprah?  Fact is that the pre-game is over and ten months of turning up life is about to be in effect.  I’m ready to get’er done.  To put some gravy on this some bitch.  To…aw whatever.

My prep week changed from my standard prep week because our entire department has changed.  Rolling over from last year are four veteran teachers, myself being the most green with 12 full years of experience.  Added to the Social Studies stew are four teachers in which this is their first full time teaching job.  This means that my job to prepare myself for the year also expanded to help prepare them for their year, because nothing is worse than a department that wishes you luck and sends you on your way with nothing.  I was supported and I want these guys to be supported.  And my first impression is that I’m proud as hell of my department for really stepping up, making the new teachers feel welcome, and making sure all doors are open for support.  We also decided to each take on a teacher and be peer mentors for the year, making sure that each of us focused on teachers with similar subjects.  I had the same thing happen when I was younger and it was invaluable. 

I’m ready, or so I keep trying to convince myself.  Something is niggling me, like every other year, that I’m missing out on some small detail that’ll pop right up when the morning starts on Monday.  My technology all works.  Gradebook is set up.  Syllabus needs a little tweaking but that can be done tomorrow.  I have engaging activities to start the year, some quick writes for four out of five of my classes, and APUSH immediately collaborating and using their laptops.  The week overall is ready, my photocopies (screw you paper Nazis) are ready, and the only real thing missing is students in my classroom.  What’s missing?  DAMMIT, WHAT’S MISSING?

The answer is that nothing is missing that I shouldn’t be able to handle on the first day.  I’ve done this for awhile, to the point where I could walk in and run the class fine with almost no prep. But “fine” isn’t good enough.  I want “fantastic”.  I want every year to be better than the last. 

Work must be graded and returned quicker.

Per Se Courts need to be used in greater abundance, and I must take the risk of using them in my standard Government classes.

All students need to feel engaged and not be allowed to sit in a corner.

English Language Learners ALL must become an active part of the process and become part of the rigor.

And I need to make sure that do extra “teacher” related things that continue to enhance my life, not weigh it down.

There are my goals.  Let the year begin.  

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