Fall Preview: Putting This Blog in Context

Via huffenglish (who also used the idea), Casting Out Nines – a higher ed math and technology blog – posted a “Fall Preview” that details what courses he will be teaching and some of the ideas and issues he’ll be dealing with as he begins the new school year.

Since I like the idea, and I appreciate the need for clear context in order to fully understand a particular position, I thought I would (in true teacher fashion) “borrow” their idea. One thing to mention, as CO9s does: most posts will have to do with the instructional issues I face and observations I make about education and teaching in general. Going into my second year of teaching, it’s more important to me to develop a better understanding of instructional practices, classroom management strategies, and methods of integrating technology into the classroom than it is to share stories about teachers and students at my school (who’d have guessed?).  That said and “borrowing” even the formatting of the post from the aforementioned bloggers), here goes:

  • I’ll be teaching (I think) one class this year: 9th grade English. This is basically the same curriculum I taught last year, except that our rehearsal/review novel has been replaced with a more difficult one (and that’s a good change). The best part about this for me is that I get a chance to improve on what I did last year in terms of assessment, instruction, and management. This is very exciting for me.
  • Our district is on a block scheduling system, which means I see a class of students for 105 minutes every other day. Rather than having a couple of major writer’s workshop units, I (and several other tecahers) will be spending about half of each class period on writing and about half on reading. Obviously, I still get to spend about 50 minutes on each every day we have class, which is fantastic. I plan on trying to use a lot of the ideas I’ve been learning about from Write Beside Them, as well as another writing curriculum.
  • One of my new roles is that of a teacher leader in technology development. I’ll be spending time with a couple of colleagues coming up with ways to help develop teachers’ understanding and use of technology in their classrooms. Much of what we’ll do will be in response to teacher requests – for example, if a teacher wants to figure out how to integrate technology into a particular lesson or unit, our job will be to provide them with some options. I’m really looking forward to this new role.
  • My other major new role will be that of assistant coach with our 9th grade football team. Last year I had the privilege of helping out with the baseball team, and this year I get to help with my favorite sport.

That will likely put the majority of my experiences into a better context for those few that read whatever strange ideas I happen to write. I sincerely hope other bloggers I subscribe to do something like this, so I have a better idea of how similar their experiences are to mine. I’m looking forward to going through a school year reading several edublogs full of ideas, strategies, and resources that I can “borrow.”


One response to “Fall Preview: Putting This Blog in Context

  • Dana Huff

    Kevin, I do have lots of stuff on R&J and The Odyssey. Try the search function at my blog — there’s quite a bit. Also, try the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Web site (http://www.folger.edu/) — click on the link for teachers and you will find a lesson plan archive. They also have a great series called Shakespeare Set Free with a volume that includes R&J. There is so much good stuff out there for both!

    Coaching! Yikes, that’s something I couldn’t do. Best wishes as you start the new year.

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