Time seems to have flown this year. We are in week 12 of school and I'm feeling a little behind. My class (8th grade) and I are spending a great amount of time on our interactive notebooks. I realized today that we are several weeks behind the topics and standards I covered last year. We are going more in depth, but I also think we are probably spending a little too much time on some topics.
We have a new residency teacher who joined the class this week. He will be with us for the rest of the year. Because of the scheduling of our teachers, he will shadow three of us. He will spend four blocks of his A/B days with the high school US History and American Government teachers and two blocks with my 8th grade US History classes.
His first fun assignment with me is a new seating chart. I have a class of talkers and it seems no matter how I've arranged them they can strike up a conversation with anyone. Mr. P noticed and I challenged him to try another arrangement. I'm all for rearranging as often as is necessary and we are constantly moving around for cooperative groups. I'm looking forward to seeing how he has them arranged next week.
For the first few weeks, Mr. P will be getting used to my classes and learning names. The residency position is new and is a year long clinical practice with one mentor and one school setting. Because of our small 7-12 grade school, Mr. P gets a little different experience but also a much broader base. I think it would be a little overwhelming at first. But it is a typical situation in most small rural schools. You don't get to teach one subject all day, many of my coworkers in HS have 3-5 preps and the flow of daily classes isn't easy. Those with lab classes seem to never have the same class back to back. So they set up labs for one class, teach, then set the lab for the next class, teach and then either set the lab for a third class or reset the lab for the first lab taught that day. It can be exhausting and sometimes frustrating.
I'm happy to have two major preps for classes and two minor preps. One of my preps is keyboarding and the students have self driven assignments. The second is a contemporary issues class and very research based. Students spend the majority of class time researching an issue and discussing/debating their finds. It is a fun class and not hard to prep and we have a nice variety of subjects/standards to cover.
Looking forward to fall!