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!

5 comments:

  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!

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

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  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.

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  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.

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

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