Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(Giant sigh noise)

It had been a while since I'd put so much energy into a single day of teaching:

Before school and during 1st period prep, I was in the staff workroom grading essays.

2nd and 3rd period, I handed back the finished essays (it was good to hear the collective "Ehhh?!" when I told the students that I was returning the essays they'd written the day before. It wasn't just a fast turnaround by my own standards--it was a fast turnaround by sane human being standards. In other words, when I have a family of my own, I won't be able to just disappear into grading for the better part of 24 hours like I did yesterday and this morning). Then, I led a workshop on writing introductions, using our impending unit essay as a guinea pig. The kids formed peer editing groups; I talked briefly about the importance of a clear and specific thesis in setting an organized foundation for the paper, and also about what constitutes a good hook. Then the kids got to work, and really used their time very well. I told them not to pressure themselves too much: if they got to the end of class and didn't like what they'd written, they could simply throw it away and start over... and only have lost a paragraph.

After writing rough intros, I had them share with their peer editing groups for feedback. Then I had the kids print out their intros without their names on them. I laid the anonymous intros out around the room with stacks of post-it notes nearby, and had the kids go around the room, reading and commenting on as many intro paragraphs as they could. At the end of class, they picked up their intros (now full of post-its) and left. We'll follow up on the comments tomorrow.

During 4th and 5th, I lectured (which I rarely do, but it's a lecture I've given many times before and am relatively comfortable with) on the intertestamental period--we're studying the Rise of Christianity in World History and so the lecture was a supplement to an article they'd read. I love that I can have my WH students do so much independent research and work, but it is nice to occasionally just have a class period where I talk to and with them, tell stories and try to present an interesting and engaging lecture. Not my ideal teaching style, but I feel like it went well. This said, performance always takes it out of me. I was thoroughly exhausted after being "on" for two 50-minute class periods.

6th period, my English students were writing an in-class essay. I fielded questions, but mostly enjoyed the chance to sit for the first time since before school. My goal is to have those essays graded by Monday.

7th period, I introduced and talked about my middle school runners at the MS pep assembly. I enjoyed that opportunity--It was good to publicly recognize and compliment my team, and reaffirm their hard work. I also extended an invitation for more kids to join--I tried to sell XC but may have under-cut my own argument when I asked a 6th grader to describe the course that the kids ran on, and he mentioned how difficult it was. "By the end, we were all dead", he said.

"Not literally, as you can tell", I said, pointing at the kids who were very much alive.

Now I'm preparing for the next round of essays--I've got half the in-class essays graded from yesterday's Humanities class, and I have 12 more to go. Then, I'll start in on the English class' essays.

Today is and has been anything but dull, and I like that. I don't think this is a pace I could keep up indefinitely, but I am really okay being this busy sometimes.


Back to work!

No comments:

Post a Comment