Friday, January 6, 2006

Finally Friday

Ahh ... I just love Friday evenings. Hubster and I are going out in a little while to listen to a local band, but I'm going to blog while he's getting ready.

It was a good week back at school, for the most part. I just love my students. I really do. I was so happy to see them again and to get back into the swing of things.

In Science, I complained several weeks ago about the fact that our "plant units" are falling right into mid-winter--when there are no leaves out there. So one of my students brought a Chia Shrek to class, and another brought a Chia donkey. So we did Chia planting today after their quiz. Fun. I get to plant Chia pets and have Chia/Shrek paraphernalia as classroom decor. I love being a teacher.

In English Lit, we're reading Alexander Pope. I must admit, I wasn't looking forward to teaching 18th-century writers. I love the Renaissance, I love the 17th-century metaphysicals, and I love the Romantics ... but the 18th-century writers (excepting Jonathan Swift) just never did much for me. I'm having fun teaching them, though. Of course Swift made a big impression. And the students have found Pope a challenge (understandably), but I think we've had some good class-wide "close readings" in the last couple of days.

In Composition, we've moved from the class essay to research-related topics. The last couple of days have focused primarily on the art and skill of paraphrasing. What an important skill to have, whether you're writing a research paper or simply reading or studying materials for a class. It's painstaking and not the most interesting work, but I think this skill will really help my comp students in the long run.

In English 9, we had our poetry test yesterday, but ... we don't have to say good-bye to poetry, because ... we start SHAKESPEARE on Monday! Woo hoo! Wee hee! They're going to read Romeo and Juliet, but we're going to spend a full week learning about the English Renaissance era, the Globe, iambic pentameter, Shakespeare, his plays, etc. I can't wait. I really need to spend some time this weekend on lesson plans to ensure that these next few classes will be as good as I imagine they'll be. Unfortunately, we have to pepper our Shakespeare unit with lessons on verbs, but I'll try to make it fun.

As for our Narnia unit, our principal is going to sit in on the classes (when she can) because she's a lot more grounded in Lewis's theology than I am. I'm going to teach it as a literature course, but I know they'll have theology questions. She'll be able to field the questions I can't.

Also, she and I are teaming up on research papers. She teaches philosophy, and most of my comp kids are in philosophy. So, her research paper is going to serve as a research paper for my comp class. I'll grade 'em primarily on their writing, and she'll grade 'em primarily on content. The two aren't mutually exclusive, of course, but I think these kids will get a good grounding in how to write a research paper that has substance.

I love my principal. I love my kids. I love teaching. Life is good.

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