Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fall 2010 Approaches...

School starts in less than two weeks. And you know how I know? Our annual letter from our principal arrived today in the mail. A few troubling things about it -- namely, that he anticipates no problems with our new student management software, when in fact, I know from my mom's experience at her school so far that it's going to be a nightmare of gargantuan proportions. Otherwise, the only real troubing thing is that we have only two days before school starts to prepare for students. We knew this all summer, of course, but it still doesn't make it easier to wrap my head around.

Thus, what have I been doing today? Planning. Nothing intense, really. But since about 11 this morning (it approaches 11 in the evening), I've been planning, re-planning, and un-planning my sophomore curriculum. Most of it has been fun, but some of it has been frustrating. I've been all over the map today in terms of WHAT I've actually been working on. I've worked on long-term planning and due dates. I've worked on day-to-day sequencing and planning. I've worked on retooling my syllabus, my first day assignment, and writing what ended up being a Manifesto Against Late Work. This last thing was cathartic, sure, but probably not necessarily going to achieve what I want. Maybe I just need to read it into my webcam and post it on my school website. Or not. But I know that I need to make my late work policy much more clear and really REALLY stick to it. This, however, requires a little more organization than I can usually manage. Hence the actual, real desire to do the work I've done today. I figure if I can nail down 85% of what I think I will *actually* assign, I'll be better about collecting it and better about dealing with late work.

I will also need to spend some time soon packing up all the junk I brought home for the summer that I really haven't touched. High hopes. Low desire. It's a great combination.

I'm interested to see what happens this year. We're all preparing for rough seas, that's for sure. The front office was afrenzy the other day with preparations to count desks and make sure each classroom had 40 -- 40! This is just insane. IN. SANE. FORTY?! I can barely wrap my head around this. But it seems like at least my administration is keenly aware that this is uncharted territory for a lot of people and I am optimistic that they will be sensitive to the issues that arise as a result. And, yet again, the reason for my new, hardcore latework policy.

We'll just have to see what happens. I also need to think about Speech and Debate recruitment... I NEED A TEAM THIS YEAR! I think I'm finally ready to embrace Speech and Debate as something I want to be good at -- I want my kids to be good at. So I think I'll go around and advertise to all the English classrooms. Maybe I'll try to have someone cover me for a day within the first week. We'll see.

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