Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some Notes From My Career

It's probably best that I didn't have much time to post until now as it turns out that stress makes me a little complainy and grouchy and in need of "Death by Chocolate" ice cream (thank you Mike!). But, as of today I am caught up with planning (which is all I can ask for at this point), have had a nap, and am perfectly capable of giving a balanced report of the job so far.

Most important lesson learned thus far: be honest. I am on all four of the grade level teams, and so I had a ton of curriculum planning meetings. I was feeling totally overwhelmed and guilty because everyone else had everything planned in some detail. I most definitely did not. After much vague description of a fake sequence of units, I finally just came out and said, "Yeah, I got hired a week ago and I am teaching four entirely different classes. I don't really have anything planned, and I'm probably going to copy whatever you do." And then everyone realized, "That girl might need some help." And I didn't have to lie anymore. Much better.

Next lesson: high school is not at all like jr. high. Call me crazy, but jr. high was a ton easier. There are a lot of reasons why, but on the flip side of that there are some fun things about high school. Like not having to teach them how to staple their papers, which may have been a continuous issue for the 7th graders. It's also very interesting to teach all four grades- the differences between the grade levels is a lot more pronounced than you'd think.

Also, turns out, the word "dialogue" is both a noun and a verb, but when it is used as a verb it makes me gag and roll my eyes in derision. Sorry about that everyone in all of my meetings.

Successes (thus far):
*A short discussion with a 10th grade class about how zombies are totally "in" right now won me some major brownie points.
*I read the 1st chapter of a book about the English language with the 12th graders (all linguistic-y and cool) and they now want to read the entire book. And love learning about English.
*My parts of speech review with the 9th graders today was more or less amazing. We played a game where they took word cards (like the refrigerator poetry magnets) and had to race each other to make sentences with certain parts of speech (1 adverb and 2 adjectives, or 2 prepositions and 2 conjunctions, etc.). Sort of great and terrifically educational. At first no one can label a single word, but mid-game they're explaining, "No, this is an adverb not an adjective because it describes how she ran."

Yep. I'm a teacher.

Friday, August 14, 2009

If You Love Me You'll Help Me

I got a job! I'm going to be teaching at W******* High School! I pretty much couldn't be happier.

It does get a little complicated, however when you consider:
  • School starts on Thursday.
  • I am teaching 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade classes.
  • Most of my teacher stuff is more jr. high oriented.

So, here's where you step in to help me plan 4 different year long curriculums without losing my mind (as much). Please, please, please comment on this post and tell me which books you read in high school and which grades you read them in. And, if you really loved or hated them you could mention that too. Thank you internet friends!

Also, I really do want to thank everyone who has been so supportive and optimistic this summer. I kept expecting to find myself in the depths of despair, but there was always someone there to keep me going. And I very much appreciate that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"I intentionally wrote it out to be an illegible mess"

So, I have this perverse pleasure in being vague. You can't really get away with that a lot, but, the blog happens to be free game. The rules of this post, then, are that I get to be as vague as I want and refuse to illucidate anything that doesn't make sense.

Originally I meant to write a post about inertia and how it's easy to get going in a certain direction in life and then be resistant to change. It was quite clever, I promise. But, before I could write it everything changed and the inertia I thought I was dealing with got blown to pieces by several unforeseen forces. Which was great, because I never particularly liked physics much anyway.

Here's (part of) what came up:

*Renewed hope in the teaching plan. Still no real leads, but there is hope. And hope is nice.

*A job at a publishing company as an editor. How cool does that make me sound? Best part- absolutely flexible around the teaching plan and, as a bonus, I get to work with some ridiculously awesome and very intelligent people. And I get to read literary criticism all day which might be helpful for the back-up plan.

*Someone who is perfect company for adventures (big and small).

*I finally get to go on a vacation!