Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Break,Twitter, and Teaching Changes

Spring Break has been wonderfully relaxing.  After finishing the All School Production on the Thursday and Friday before break, I spent the beginning of break collapsed.  (Actually, I rallied in time to celebrate my husband's 60th birthday and spend time with my daughters, their husbands, and my adorable grandkids.)

Of course, school is never far from my mind. Twitter has become my "go to" place for ideas and for answers to questions. Edutopia, Edudemic, WeAreTeachers, and Achievethecore are just a few of my favorites. I am beginning to connect with some other Secondary ELA teachers, and their ideas inspire.

This next nine weeks of school will fly by with State Testing and the end of the year hubbub.  (You can add in the fact that my oldest daughter/boss is expecting their 2nd child at the end of April. I am ready for that little bundle to arrive!) It will go especially fast this year, as on top of everything else, I am changing rooms and subjects next year.

Our administration has decided to do some rearranging of our English staff.  By splitting classes, we will work with another teacher and be able to compare class results to improve our teaching skills.  I will be teaching Sophomore English for three hours and speech and drama for the other three hours. I think all of us have concerns, but I also think there is the potential to really strengthen our department, too.

The concerns:
*For the first time in 33 years, I won't have every sophomore that goes through our school.  It will be strange not knowing the majority of the students in our high school.

*Leaving behind my beautiful classroom with carpet and lots of light from big windows will be difficult.

*The physical part of moving a whole classroom is a bit overwhelming.  It will involve a lot of work and hours of time packing, organizing, and decorating a new classroom.

*Planning for Speech, Drama, and Forensic classes will require quite a bit of work prior to the start of the year.

These concerns are outweighed by some of the perks:

*Less paper grading.  With half the number of English students, I will have half the number of papers.  It is hard to be sad about that!

*I am moving into an awesome room with a stage. It is has always been one of my favorite rooms in our high school.  (But there are no windows and no carpet, which will remind me of pre-tornado days in our old school.)

*While the new classes will require different planning, it is the creative kind of planning that I enjoy.  I will begin working on new curriculum after break. (I have spent part of break searching for resources.)

So this spring break has been filled with Twitter, researching new curriculum, and trying to cram in all the things I love: hiking, a manicure and pedicure, time with my daughters and grandkids, shopping, movies, and relaxing meals out with my husband.  I've caught up on sleep, and I think I am ready for the end of this school year. I actually feel pretty refreshed and ready to go!

PS. This blog is about to become an English/Speech and Drama blog. Stay tuned!

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