Thursday, January 1, 2009

The first half of 2008-09

Inspired by Dana's post reflecting on the year so far, I thought it was time to throw down.

Like everyone else, I had a busy year. Last year was my first year as co-head coach of our school speech team. The season, which included sending one of the kidlets I have coached for the last two years to State, coincided with the last semester of my Master's degree. At the same time, I was planning my August wedding and worrying about continuing contract in my third year at my school.

As my husband and I learn how to live together, I am amazed by how little free time I found this fall. I graduated in May, and speech is just starting to build up, so I don't know why I was still at school until after four more than once a week when the sun was still up at that time. Amazingly, I've felt more in tune with kids than ever before, but less interested in planning and curriculum.

I dove back in right around Thanksgiving, with a little toe-twiddle-in-the-water-idea about Lord of the Flies. A friend was telling me about the IB approach to lit, which has the kids reading on their own with set deadlines and guiding discussion themselves. I didn't keep my fingers out of the discussion pot as much as I would like (I've been thinking about the word facilitator as opposed to teacher), but it was pretty wicked awesome all the same.

I decided to really commit to the Folger Shakespeare Set Free method for the first time with Macbeth, and it's a lot more interesting than slogging through day by day, but the foot draggers aren't getting what we don't examine in class. We'll see how the last week goes. Then I set them loose with A Midsummer Night's Dream, one of my favorite units.

This month I'm going to IB training, which I find both thrilling and terrifying, since it sounds like more interesting teaching (facilitating, as above), but also like more work than I can even conceive. Also, I may wind up writing an AP curriculum in the next few weeks, since we're losing one of our two AP teachers next year.

Hmm. Much change afoot.