Category Archives: preparation

Schedule for 2010-2011

So…my tentative schedule for next year is this:

Semester One
1st: Junior English (1st floor)
2nd: Homeroom (2nd floor)
3rd: Senior English (2nd floor)
4th: Credit Recovery (1st floor)
5th: Plan

Semester Two
1st: Junior English (1st floor)
2nd: Homeroom (2nd floor)
3rd: Credit Recovery (1st floor)
4th: Plan
5th: Junior English (2nd floor)

Credit Recovery for 1st and 3rd quarters will be makeup for Freshmen or Sophomore English. Credit Recovery for 2nd & 4th Quarters is makeup for Junior or Senior English. The junior/senior class is geared more towards writing, so I’m going to tweak it to make it more writing intense. It was last year, but…it wasn’t exactly what I like.

Currently, I’m in 3 rooms throughout the year, not counting homeroom. However, that’s why I put the 1st & 2nd floor stuff. I’m in a different room for each block. Plan period will be in our English office area. If they ever take our office area away (b/c we don’t have room) I will be supremely pissed and will DEFINITELY look for a job at a new school.

We have a new principal this year…I’m nervous. It’s like being at a new job all over again. Change (that I didn’t initiate) gives me such anxiety. Bleagh…

I hope that my curriculum person works things out so that I’m not traveling all the live-long day. I might just buy myself some KEENS and wear them and say they’re dress shoes. Shit.



Filed under beginnings, block schedule, credit recovery, preparation

Next Year

Well, right now, I’m sitting in my living room listening to the wind blow, the rain roar, the hail fall, and the thunder rumble. My part of my state is experiencing a huge late-day storm (we usually get them at night, as far as I can remember) — my parent’s house (they live north of me) has no power. Thankfully, my parents have a non-cordless land line phone.

We had our “plan time” for summer school today — as far as teaching goes, this will be a cake-walk. On one hand, this is not a program that is what you’d want to see happen in a classroom during the school year. However, this is credit recovery. These kids are here to earn their credit — they need buckle down, do the work, and as Larry the Cable Guy says “git er done!” So, this plan to have them work independently (as much as they’re able) and to essentially prove they can demonstrate their mastery of standards via this work — I’m okay with it. Also, the lack of planning that is necessary on my part is fantastic.



Next year, this is what I’d like to accomplish in my junior English class. Let me know if you think it’s do-able.

September/January: 1 essay, 1 speech (memorized poem recitation)
October/February: 1 essay, 1 group presentation (4 to 5 minutes & 4 to 5 people) **Feb = state writing test
Read 1 major work by this time
November/March: 1 essay, 1 partner presentation (4 to 5 minutes)
December/April: 1 essay, 1 speech (solo! — 4 to 5 minutes) ** Apr = state reading test
Read 1 major work by this time
August — winding up stuff (short works, etc)
May — winding down stuff
So…2 major works for each semester, which will be supplemented by various other texts: speeches, essays, short stories, poems, etc.

Remember, I’m on the 4×4 block, at least for one more year — rumor has it that our new principal would like to change our schedule to A/B Block. M&W=A, T&Th=B, Friday = all (meaning each class would meet for about 45 minutes). We couldn’t change it till the 2011-2012 school year. I personally LOVE the idea of an ABAB/All schedule.

Side note: don’t get me wrong, I LOVE teaching juniors. I love that age group (even when I don’t). But I HATE that the feds have decided (or our state has decided?) that this is the age-group that needs to prove they know what they know. They are tested up the whazzoo. It’s ridiculous.

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Filed under block schedule, credit recovery, juniors, lesson planning, planning, preparation, quarter schedule, reading, state writing, summer school, testing, work, writing

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


I know, I know. It has been ages since I’ve posted on here. There have been a number of things that have been going on w/ me. My primary excuse is that I’ve been too tired to post or read anything b/c I’ve been working so much at my part-time job. However, starting now (actually), my hours have been greatly reduced. This is because next week I officially begin work.

District-wide new teacher meetings start on Wednesday the 8th. We have a week of those and then Wednesday the 15th we begin meetings for my school w/ all the staff involved.

I have a picnic for faculty/staff on Tuesday this next week. I need to make a salad. I need to find the thingie and RSVP.

I bought a big (cheap & cute) desk calendar at Wal-Mart. I’m going to use it to try to map out the semester.

I think I’m only going to end up teaching between 4 and 6 books. I think 10 would be WAY too many. I want to actually have discussions about them. PLUS I have to teach the research paper too AND prep them for their state writing assessment in the spring. (GAH!) If anyone has any suggestions on how to teach the research paper or knows of any handy-dandy links for such a thing, please, PLEASE, send them my way. (thanks!)

I can’t believe that it’s almost time to begin! I don’t feel ready! I don’t have enough figured out yet! OY!

I should get to work on that…ok…later! (promise)

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Filed under meetings, preparation, teaching

Still plugging away

I’m still working on reading through stuff–trying to make decisions. I fear I’m going to run out of time. I’m currently reading 1) A Separate Peace 2) A Raisin in the Sun and 3) Our Town. I’m for sure teaching My Antonia and To Kill a Mockingbird. But, that’s the only thing I’ve decided thus far.

Our anthology has the Gettysburg Address in it. We had to memorize it for some class I took–either 6th or 8th grade English. I still remember how much I loved how all those words sound together. And, I noticed there’s a discrepancy between the version I memorized and the version in our book. Hmmm…it’s minor, but I noticed. I think I’m just going to have class copies of the anthology and not have them cart/lug the books around. My student teaching experience taught me that a) kids do NOT like carrying around big-ass heavy lit books and b) students are apt to lose big-ass heavy lit books, no matter how big they are. I had about 1/3 of the kids who routinely didn’t bring their books to class. SO FRUSTRATING! This is why our short story unit we (aka me) read the stories out loud, rather than silent, individual reading. Much more success that way.

I added new links to more blogs. I promise I’m going to try to keep up with everyone. I keep finding people who’ve linked to my blog on their page. How flattering! How fun! I feel so popular! 😉

Oy, I didn’t realize it was midnight. I should go to bed. Or at least, go to my bedroom. I have to get up early(ish) tomorrow so I can dye my hair before work. (tee hee)

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Filed under blogging, preparation, reading


You wonderful, wonderful readers you! I’m so pleased with everyone’s comments. Hurrah! Your input definitely has given me lots to think about. And, lots more to do, for sure.

I realized yesterday that I have LESS THAN A MONTH till I officially begin. Yup, new teacher meetings begin August 8th. Yikes! I went into my building today to meet with my curric specialist and look things over, etc. My room (wow…MY ROOM) is cleaned, but they don’t have keys for me yet. I have a stack of district posters that need to be hung, and then I have another stack to look over and see if I want them. I bought posters for myself as well. I’ve always been one of those people who doesn’t like a lot of blank space on the wall. I think that walls are there to be decorated and covered with pictures and posters, etc. Hopefully I can restrain myself and not go TOO overboard.

I’ve almost finalized my list of books we’ll be doing this year. I brought home the anthology the district uses to look over as well. It’s mostly put together chronologically, but not 100%. I think that makes sense for me, more than by genre.

I just worry about how I’m going to fit it all in! Oy!

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Filed under preparation