Monday, January 2, 2006

Self-Reflection

When I was in grad school, we had to write "self-reflections" after teaching each class (I was a TA and taught freshman comp and business writing). I've been meaning to do "self-reflections" every day, but I've been too busy. I'm going to try to do more of these. Basically, I give a report of how things went at school, then I write (in blue) a "reflection" on it.

School just ended, and my classroom is now empty. It was an okay day--much better than I would have expected, seeing as I did very little planning over the holidays.

Science was fun. We played science jeopardy in order to get their brilliant little minds back into the groove of school, and then I gave them time to complete tomorrow's reading assignment. I hesitated with this "plan" because part of me wanted us to dive right in to schoolwork. I'm glad I did it this way, though; one of my students was absent, so she ended up not missing too much.

English Lit was okay. We did an exercise on satire from the Center for Learning book of lesson plans for English Lit. I use CFL's stuff pretty often as a supplement. It makes things easier, and it helps me to remember that this is a high-school class and not an in-depth college course (oh, would that it were. Would that it were!) Tomorrow we're discussing Swift's A Modest Proposal, and I hope it will be a good discussion. It's such a fun piece of literature. I'm looking forward to seeing the reactions of those who actually read the assignment. The lesson in CFL was much too lengthy for a 50-minute class period. Next year, if I re-do this lesson, I'll either need to pick and choose certain aspects to present, or make it a two-day lesson.

Comp was okay. They mostly worked on their paragraphs for a class essay we're writing. We did all of the prewriting and planning before Christmas. The plan was to complete the class essay before the holidays, but a series of snow days and delayed schedules got in the way. Once we finish this essay later this week, we're going to start looking at research writing. I'm glad we're doing the class essay because I think it helps them to "walk through" the essay-writing process with their peers and with me. I do regret that we weren't able to finish it before the holidays, though. It's hard to come back to the middle of a unit after taking two weeks off.

Ninth grade English was pretty good. They were actually quiet and seemed somewhat interested when I explained rhyme scheme and meter. I also gave them a pretest on verbs, since we're going to spend the next month of our lives moving between ♥Shakespeare♥ and verbs. (I always put Shakespeare in hearts in my class. Fitting, I think.) We begin Romeo and Juliet in a couple of weeks.

I taught the ninth-grade class with very little planning. It went okay, but could have been much better (for me) if I'd planned a bit more. It worked out, though; scansion and rhyme scheme aren't the easiest concepts in the world if you're learning them for the first time, and we spent a lot of time on both today.

For tomorrow, I need collect lab materials for science, re-read A Modest Proposal for English Lit, do nothing whatsoever for composition, and plan a lesson for ninth grade that focuses on (1) verbs, and (2) "Richard Cory," by Edward Arlington Robinson. Oh. And grade two essays that were due before Christmas but were turned in late.

More later!

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