The Teacher’s Daybook 2008-2009

My copy of Jim Burke’s handy teacher’s planner, The Teacher’s Daybook, arrived this week.  I mentioned previously that the planner had been published before July in the past, but this year was released on July 10, and I wondered why.  It turns out the planner runs from August to July for this year, and my guess would be that the change is permanent.  I would imagine the change was made because most schools start in August and it makes more sense for that to be the beginning of the year, but it leaves previous Daybook users with a month-long gap for this year.  It’s not a terribly big deal, except that I have a meeting on Tuesday, and I like to have things like that written down in my planner in the proper place.  And yes, I am a little OCD.

The weekly calendars have been revamped, and time will have to tell about whether I like it or not.  The old calenders had more space, which was good for me because I usually have four or five preps, and the large space made dividing my preps easier.  The smaller spaces will possibly still work for me.  If you are a teacher with one prep (and if you are, I hate you — not really — I’ve had one prep before and still hated my job), you should love the change.

Anyway, Jim Burke is ten kinds of awesome, and if you are an English teacher (or really, just a teacher), do yourself a favor and check out his Web site.  He is the graphic organizer king.

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The Teacher’s Daybook, 2008-2009

The Teacher's Daybook, 2008-2009I just pre-ordered my copy of Jim Burke’s handy planner, The Teacher’s Daybook, updated for 2008-2009. The planner will not actually be released until July 10. Usually, it is released much earlier, and I wonder if some of the changes made didn’t cause a delay in publication. The planners usually run from July to June of the year specified, so I can’t help but think there was a problem this time.

I actually mocked up syllabi for this fall yesterday. Why do I want to go back to school so bad when I just started my summer? The Folger Teaching Shakespeare Mini-Institute! I am really excited to teach three Shakespeare plays this year — Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Macbeth, all of which, interestingly enough, are included in volume one of the Folger Library’s Shakespeare Set Free series. As a participant of the institute, I will be receiving a copy of this volume. I already have one, so I plan to donate the older copy to a colleague and keep the new one. I am not sure what the difference between the one I already have and the new one is (aside from the cover). Does anyone else know?

If you can only get one volume of the series, this volume is the one I recommend because it contains two of the most frequently taught plays — Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth — both of which are frequently anthologized in 9th grade texts and British literature texts respectively. It is my hope that if Folger produces another volume in the series, they will consider creating a unit for Julius Caesar, as when I have had to teach that play (twice), I have had difficulty in coming up with creative ideas, although it looks like there are some good ideas on the Folger’s Web site. There is a great idea for the scene when Cinna the Poet is attacked by the plebeian mob that we did at the Mini-Institute, but I don’t see an identical one on the Web site (here is a similar one).

Well, I need to tell myself to enjoy this break from teaching. I am twenty pages from the end of Wuthering Heights, which I am actually reading in its entirety for the first time (sorry Mrs. Keener — it wasn’t personal — I just couldn’t keep up with the reading schedule!) and Penny Kittle’s Write Beside Them was set aside while I finished up with end-of-year business (and I mean “busy-ness,” too), and I feel I have not been a good participant at the wiki. And I need to read the summer reading books assigned to my students (or at least the ones I haven’t read yet) so that I can make assessments for the books.

Techy Addendum: I have been getting a 500 Server Error when I post to this blog that says there is a misconfiguration on the server.  No problems posting at all, so it must be related to something that happens after I post.  No problems when I edit posts.  I am not sure what is causing it, and trying to figure it out over the last couple of hours hasn’t been fruitful.  Please let me know if you are having problems commenting.  Comments are held in moderation, so your comment might not appear right away, and that is not a bug.  However, if you get a strange error message (such as a 500 Server Error message), please let me know.

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