The beginning of another semester - and for once, I think I'm organized and ready. I say I think because there is always something that crops up unexpectedly. Like today -- I forgot to make sure my USB gadget that advances my power point slides was packed, likewise my timer. I never realized how much I relied on the USB gadget or that timer! I’ll not forget them for the next class, that’s for sure.
Students are taking a Strategic Content Literacy Assessment right now, so I have some time to do this - I'm hoping that by taking the assessment themselves, they will better understand the assignment they are required to complete - assess one class, analyze the data, and reflect on what this tells them with respect to learners in that particular class. Anyway, as I listen to the rain pounding on the roof of the University Center [or is that the air conditioner?], and watch these students concentrate on their reading and responding to the text, I realize just how much I love teaching this course. This group of students seems far different from the last group, which was sort of a mixed bag. With three or four exceptions, students last spring were serious about teaching and will be excellent additions to any middle school; but those three or four . . . well, I hope they either learn fast and become good teachers or move on to another career. I’m looking forward to a semester in which we all become a community of learners. Last spring, a small group of math students formed a Wiki and it’s still going strong – so maybe we’ll do something like that this go ‘round.
This morning, I got a late start from home and therefore did not have enough time to go by Starbucks, which I greatly regret right now; I could use a shot of caffeine – better yet, an intravenous shot of the legal addictive stimulant. I grabbed a regular cup of coffee at the little café here at the University Center, but it just isn’t the same. Oh well, tomorrow is another day!
Once again, I’ve over planned – I have about 4 hours worth of stuff I’d like to get done, and less than an hour left in the three hour class period and haven't gotten to everything [big surprise]. I’ve never tried this – having students complete an SCLA themselves, and I’m not sure whether this will work or not – but they’ll learn something, I hope. The reading I'm using is one I want them to read anyway, so at least that's a positive outcome. I should walk around and see how far they’ve gotten with the SCLA, maybe we can squeeze in just one more thing into this class . . . but then again, I often make the mistake of trying to do too much in one class period. We’ll see . . .
LATER- after walking around and collecting a few of the papers
Reading through a few of the initial responses [quite a few students have finished already – in only 20 minutes when I allotted 30 minutes for the task – a conundrum all teachers face – what to do with “early finishers”] will help me see their initial ideas about literacy, which will be a good thing to know, but I’m realizing now that this also means that I will have to actually grade all these things now, too. There’s always a down side, isn’t there? I’ve inadvertently given myself homework on the very first day of class – was I completely insane???
STILL LATERHome again, home again – after a stop to get a Starbucks [I feel alive again] and a trip to the bookstore. I should be shot – I picked up Twilight [I dare not begin reading it until after next week is over] AND found another historical novel on the sixth wife of Henry VIII – which I could not resist and now can see a whole lot of procrastination coming on. Will I ever learn??? I have four books going now – I’m listening to a non-fiction book about the US and the Middle East [Power, Faith, and Fantasy] as I drive back and forth to Greenville, reading Thomas Jefferson: American Sphinx, and listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the sixth time as I get read for work each morning, plus the additional book about Katherine Parr I bought today and couldn’t resist beginning. I’m in some serious trouble here.