You sure can tell when school is back in session again around this blog, can’t you? We started back on August 20, and I am busily evaluating summer reading, grading, and planning. I am advising National Honor Society again after a hiatus, and I am looking forward to making that a really good, solid organization that is something more than a line on a resumé.
I have five different preps, which is standard for me, but my largest class is currently 17 students. I have some really great, enthusiastic and just generally kind 9th graders, which always makes it fun. My 10th grade Writing class is a great group with hard workers. My 11th grade British Literature class is going to be so much fun. I have wanted to teach British Literature for my entire career. My senior class will be smoother and more interesting, I hope, since I have taught the course once. In other words, I am really excited about my classes and my students.
Meanwhile, my own children have started back to school. My oldest is in 8th grade, and she seems very happy. My middle one started 1st grade. More seat work and less playing. We are reading Ramona the Pest together, and she really loves it. Some insight into her particular problems — if you are familiar with Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby, let’s just say my middle one is a lot like her. My youngest is in special needs pre-K and has a wonderful teacher. He is making real progress. Everyone is riding the bus and getting used to the routine of school.
I am really excited about some of the things we are doing this year at my school. For starters, all of our 9th grade literature is based around the theme of the quest of the hero. I think it’s going to be great. I am taking my 9th graders and 11th graders on a field trip to see Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth respectively at the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern. I have also, as many of you know, been implementing Understanding by Design (UbD) in my planning, and my first UbD units for our summer reading (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Brave New World, and A Lesson Before Dying) are now underway.