A New Year

Teachers are funny.  For us, in almost every conceivable sense, the year begins in August.  The biggest changes, turmoil, stress, and excitement all happen at this time.  So, as such, I’m quite busy here at the end of summer trying to make plans and decisions for the year.  For many reasons, I’m not the kind of teacher who uses the same lesson plans every year.  This year, in particular, I have several things changing my teaching in some degree for this year:

1) The school is still involved in PLC (Professional Learning Communities), so all of the English teachers are supposed to be on the same page to some degree or other.  This means, we’ve made certain decisions about the order we’ll be teaching things this year.

2) We got new textbooks this year (and novels along with them).  This means we have all sorts of new material to go through and we have all sorts of interesting supplementary material to go with.  In addition, our PLC group has decided to follow the textbooks “recommended course of study.”  This is not how I’ve usually done things.

3) I got fired up by the National Writing Project again.  So, now I’m constantly thinking about  how to incorporate more writing in my class.  Well, to be honest, not just my class.  I’ve thought about how to give advice to other teachers on how to include more and better writing in their own classes, too.

In addition, I’ll be mentoring another new teacher this year and I think I’m teaching another adjunct class with the college.  Speech, this time.

What does all of this mean?  It means, I have a lot of lesson planning to do and not a lot of time to do it in.  I have a tendency to wing it, because I’m pretty successful at it, but I also know that I’m much better when I prepare.  So, I’m trying to get myself to prepare.  So far, not so good.  I have a couple of thoughts bouncing around in my head, but nothing written down. Maybe I’ll do better tomorrow.

I am the language lover and these are my thoughts.


1 Comment

  1. Scott Erb said,

    August 20, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Well, I consider the year starting in September when classes begin, but I think college teachers tend to have more freedom, we don’t have any meetings or activities we have to do until classes start — just get the syllabi ready. We also tend to do a lot less ‘lesson planning.’ I was shocked by the amount of formal preparation school teachers have to do for their lessons. I think of the times I walk into class without having done any preparation, but managing to wing it (those are sometimes the best classes). I admire K-12 teachers, you have a much more difficult job than we college teachers.

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