Sunday, May 06, 2012

EOY Wrap Up

Only 3 weeks and 2 extra days of teaching this year. Oy! As always when I come to this part of the year, I shake my head at how fast it went and what all I still have to do and how there's not enough time and too many testing interruptions to finish up strongly and and and ....Then I also start to get excited about next year. I think about the potential classes I'll teach (not 100% sure yet) and then I don't want to jinx anything, so I make myself THINK it'll be okay if I don't teach a particular course (you know, lie to myself). Then I get nervous because it seems 99.9% sure I will be teaching certain courses, then I wonder how it will all work out. Maybe all this mental gymnastics is just a smoke screen to bend my mind away from the fact that THERE'S HARDLY ENOUGH TIME LEFT THIS YEAR.

Anyway, I was out doing chores today and was at Barnes & Noble and picked up Ron Clark's new book. I did not know he started a new academy. I find his enthusiasm and energy and good thoughts and "can do" attitude and belief and vision so inspiring. Just the jolt I need to end the year. I think his school is 5th-8th, and I teach mostly high schoolers, but I still found many things I want to think on and mold and implement.

Next year, we'll have our 1st senior class. This will be the class that were freshmen when I started teaching at my "new" school. This is the class that in my first year caused me much grief and stress and joy and frustration and laughter. It will be sad and exciting to see them graduate, and it will feel like a different school without them in 2 years.

Fun things this past year:
1. Digital Electronics. At the start of the year, I had my students write on index cards what they were worried about for the coming year in DE. I clipped them together and put them away. Just recently, I found them and as a class we had a giggle reading them. We were all "I hope I don't get electrocuted!" ... "I hope it's not too hard!" ... "I won't know what to do!" And now for the most part, we're bread boarding geniuses, we can work with our BoeBot and circuits and K-Mapping and State Machines and such.

2. My online AP Computer Science class from Mizzou. I took it to "help" one of our students that wanted to take the course but didn't want to take it alone. I ended up learning a lot about the student's point of view in an AP class and trying to balance the work load all the while juggling the ton of other things that make up life. It was also interesting to take an AP class from a college course perspective.

3. Overloading of Duties/Happenings. Okay, not so fun in the stress department, but it's always fun to tackle new challenges. I: was NHS cosponsor, one of 3 HS team leaders, agreed to cosponsor an "inventing team" for next year (that started this year), sat in on TONS of interviews and learned TONS, taught a 1/2 hour weekly yoga class to our sometimes-unwilling students, tried a cross-country geometry project, had several guest speakers in DE (a mix of successful and not).

I'm eager for summer to start for the longer periods of R&R that I'll get and also for the workshops and such I'll get to attend and the planning for 2 new courses I'll be teaching (most likely) and the vow to myself not to sit so much and to get up and move.

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