1. The classroom is an extension of my teaching, and without it, I flounder. Even though I'm a high school teacher, I still like to hang up student work on the bulletin board and rearrange furniture on the fly. I also like to do silly things, like allowing students to brainstorm on the windows with whiteboard markers. Being a guest for 1-2 periods in another teacher's room hampered spontaneity and decorating.
2. Being a guest for 1-2 periods in another teacher's room taught me lessons about compromising and having to accept things I can't control. After having "my own room" for 10+ years, I realized how set in my ways I had become.
3. On a positive note, the schedule forced me out of the room and I was able to socialize and connect with folks I might not have otherwise seen if I were in one classroom all day long. I greatly enjoyed connecting and unofficially mentoring new teachers in the department. Collaboration is the spice of teaching (to mangle that cliche).
4. I love teaching freshmen. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed teaching the seniors, but the dynamic and energy level of the two age groups affected my instructional approaches. It was a dog fight to get my 1st & 3rd period seniors interested and moving. It was also exhausting wrangling the freshmen, but I was able to feed off of their energy level. I also have 16 years of teaching freshmen literature, so I can teach OMM, Odyssey, and R&J with my eyes closed. With the senior literature, I struggled with not being an expert-- I know Beowulf on a reading comprehension level, but I do not know the Anglo-Saxons as well as I know the Greeks. While I consider myself lead-learner, I also value being the expert in the room. If I want my students to dive deeper into the literature, I need to expertly lead them. This year was about testing the waters to see if I wanted to switch to seniors full-time. I know for sure where I am most effective.
So, next year's schedule is back to freshmen full-time. One classroom. 2 preps: Honors Eng 9 and English 9. I am very excited to continue tweaking lessons and tinkering with technology integration.
And now that the school year is over, I can use this summer to write and plan. Some previews for the blog...
- #TeachersWrite! Online summer camp for teachers who are looking for guidance and a community for writing. The first assignment started today with the focus on wondering.
- ISTE15 pictures and recap.
- Flipcon15 recap
- NJPAECET2 preview
- Other posts on Grammarly, Pronoun Usage in Game of Thrones, and more!
My blog has seen little love over this year and it is about time I get back to it!