Monday, July 6, 2015

Hi, Blog! Nice to see you again!

What a school year this has been:  2 buildings, 3 classrooms, 3 preps, and every time the bell rang I was on the move again.  Forget being a cart-teacher, my classroom supplies were stashed in my ginormous school bag or online.  Despite the traveling, this schedule taught me important lessons:

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!

No comments:

Post a Comment