First Semester

Well, it’s finished. That’s good. I don’t have to deal with my 4th block class anymore. That’s good too. What’s NOT good is that the last day of our semester…we didn’t have school. Yup, called on account of the weather. Now, did I mind starting winter break a day early? AbsoLUTEly not. Here’s the kicker though: because their last day was cancelled, that means many of them do not have to take finals. Now, some teachers (I’m pretty sure many of them) rearranged their schedules and gave them Thursday. However, for my seniors, I planned that Thursday was their final speech and Friday would be their comprehensive test. So, no test for them. Friday was supposed to be a test day (of a different sort) for my juniors. Wednesday and Thursday they were also giving speeches. However…there was/is no culmination of their classes. They’re just…done.

That upsets me, on a number of levels. But, I can’t control the weather, so I’m trying to get over it.

I’m also trying to get over my feeling of big failure related to this first semester. I feel like while I’m a second year teacher and things were better than last year, they weren’t astoundingly better and I still feel pretty crappy about how I taught and what we got accomplished in class.

I’m also trying to get over this.

That being said, I’m already thinking of next semester. I’m going to approach things differently. I’m excited for two things: 1) I have just ONE prep all day (I know, aren’t you all just INSANELY jealous?) and 2) I don’t have a class during lunch, but instead I have plan. This means I don’t have to deal with students who are only focused on “when do we eat” and the elimination of myriad other problems. HOORAY!

I’m excited for what second semester will bring. I’m contemplating teaching a few new things. My fellow junior teachers and I will be nailing down consistent, across-the-board, specifics regarding their huge junior research paper/project. I think that I might have/feel a bit more control when I get to that point (quarter four) this year.

My dilemmas are these: 1) how do I naturally/skillfully work some/more grammar instruction into things? (which requires ME to know my stuff– heh heh…) 2) how do I do the same with vocabulary (I do have some ideas, but not many) 3) how do I get more organized when I have THREE EFFING CLASSROOMS throughout the day (yeah, I have to move each time I teach) and 4) how do I get more organized in general. *sigh*

Well, now that I’ve got some of these things out of my head…

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas (or whatever holiday you happen to celebrate — I hope it was wonderful) and that 2009 holds fantastic things for you!

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Filed under beginnings, holiday break, preparation

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