Sunday, August 12, 2012

Teacher Dork

Well, folks.  I probably should have announced this a few weeks ago, but here is some of the biggest news that is happening in my life right now:  I accepted a high school English teaching position for this school year.  This means I will be leaving my full time job at the hotline and returning to the profession I had serious doubts about when I left my last teaching job.  This one is in a new district in Maryland.  Everything I have been learning about the district and the school makes me feel like it will be a very different experience than my last position.  Although I have understandable lingering anxieties from the disaster that was my last teaching job, I approach my new teacher in-service days starting tomorrow with a good deal of optimism.

I'm very excited to be a Lion (yes, that's our mascot), and the classes are almost perfectly designed for my talents/interests.  First semester I will be teaching 10th grade honors (which is an American Lit course) and 9th grade co-taught inclusion English with a commercial reading lab program that I've heard good things about.  Second semester, I will be teaching AP Language and Composition and 11th grade English along with the continuation of the same 9th grade English class (it's a 2-credit, 2-semester long course).

The preparations I've been doing for the last month have awoken my sleeping teacher dork self.  I re-read Harry Wong's The First Days of School, the single most important text I recommend for new teachers across every discipline and culture.  I used it to review all of my old classroom management plans and procedures to come up with a new plan that I'm happy with.  It also brought back a touch of that idealism I had when I first became a teacher (although perhaps peppered now with the wisdom and understanding of my years of experience), which I needed.

The most exciting piece, of course, is planning what books we will read this year and what writing assignments we will do.  I'm lucky--for ninth graders I can include some really interesting young adult works like The Giver, Speak, and The Hunger Games (yes, really, it's on the approved list and we have a class set); for the tenth most of the American Lit options available are ones I've taught before and love teaching--Of Mice and Men, A Raisin in the Sun, The Crucible, To Kill a Mockingbird, and even the book that has the honor of being my favorite piece of writing, The Things They Carried.

For writing assignments, I believe I have some standard county requirements for each year, but I hope there is some flexibility in that.  I will learn more tomorrow at my in-service.

Let the school year begin!


  1. Yay on The Things They Carried! We read that for our Writing 101 class in college. I was talking to one of my coworkers the other day about To Kill a Mockingbird because it's a book I remember really liking but not really remembering. Good luck on this year!

  2. Good luck! I hope you have a wonderful school year! :)

  3. Congratulations! I am a current AP teacher as well as a 9th grade English teacher. If you'd like any resources, please feel free to let me know! I have an entire unit for To Kill a Mockingbird and several other activities if you'd like. I remember starting from scratch, so please let me know if I can hep.

  4. Congrats! If your district is truly progressive, you might want to try and use Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash." I was able to reach more kids via that book than all of those classics you mentioned combined. I know I would definitely utilize "The Hunger Games" if I were trying to reach today's modern high school students, especially in engaging both boys and girls, which is why I think "Snow Crash" works so well. It was also a great help that the kids could actually relate to the technology which they could not do with works by the likes of Steinbeck, Lee, or even Hinton's Johnny and Ponyboy.

  5. Oh. Congratulations to you. I am sure you'd have a great time teaching.



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