That Time of Year

Teachers return to school in a week, and for me, a week out is usually the point in the summer when the panic hits. I’ve still got some summer work to finish up, and then there’s the small matter of getting ready to teach new preps. Rather than cave to the pressure to write a post that names all the challenges of the coming year or even my goals for it (although I’ll likely return to that), I’ve decided to list all the things I’m excited about in the coming year. (Note to the subconscious- this is a signal to stay the beginning of school nightmares for another couple days.)

I’m excited to be focusing my energies in one department rather than being split between English and History. I’ll be teaching two sections of 7th grade World History, two sections of 8th grade US History, and one blended learning section of 11th grade US History. This doesn’t mean that I’ll no longer be interested in interdisciplinary connections, but it will be easier to feel invested in a department, rather than running back and forth between two. It also means fewer meetings 🙂

I love American History. When I was in elementary school, I finished the entire set of middle grades biographies of famous Americans at the local library. So I’m so excited to be teaching both 8th and 11th grade US history. I’m looking forward to more opportunities for cross-divisional collaboration among my students, like the Supreme Court simulation last year.

I’m looking forward to weekly Tuesday night supper club. It’ll be nice to have a time mid-week that involves putting school work aside and being with friends. The group will rotate among folks’ houses. When it’s your turn to host/cook, you do the whole meal. For the other six weeks of the rotation, you get a great meal with no prep.

Because of my new class assignments, my schedule will also be changing. I’ll teach periods 1-4 and 8 on Mondays and Fridays (when my Upper School class meets) and periods 1-4 the other days of the week. Period 5 is lunch (teachers eat with students) and period 9 is advisory (study hall & team building). Practically that means that most days I’ll have at least two contiguous planning periods and some days I’ll have three (ah, the bliss!). I’m looking forward to the rhythm of teaching in the morning and meeting and planning in the afternoon.

4 thoughts on “That Time of Year

  1. I doubt that my English teacher friends will allow me to forget them. Also, hoping to be at NCTE 2011 in Chicago.

  2. Hoping? HOPING?!

    Seriously, though, this sounds so good. Being involved with one department will take much less head space, and you sound excited to be immersed in a subject you love.

    Does this mean you’ll have different club responsibilities? Hope you get what you want….

  3. Ok, I got the official go-ahead for NCTE 2011, Karen, so now I can stop hope and start planning 🙂

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