It’s almost the end of the school year. I have so much I want to do better next year. I have so much I want to change.
1. Review and change all assessments to better reflect a wider range of types and depths of questions. If this means adding short answer types/essays, then so be it.
2. Incorporate more difficult writing into the freshmen curriculum for semester 2 and your own version of “You Must Read This” by altering the choice reading project to include a persuasive analysis.
3. Begin doing grammar/punctuation work at the very beginning of the year with the freshmen. Work it into the schedule. Start the SAT Q of the day at the beginning of the year too. Give them a routine they can rely on so that the incessant chatter ceases when the bell rings.
4. Be less big sister and more strict, scary teacher with the seniors right off the bat, especially because these kids have already had you as a teacher. Lay down the law and don’t try to comfort them that this year will all be okay and that you’ll hold their hands through the work. DON’T hold their hands. DON’T give so many examples. Let them figure it out on their own. Let them grow. Let them be independent. If necessary, let them fail. This is not the year for hand-holding like in previous years.
5. Provide an assignment calendar for the freshmen too, not just the seniors. It’ll keep them accountable for assignments in a way they previously haven’t been responsible for.
6. Change the syllabus to be more straightforward and concise. No one reads a five page document. NO ONE.
7. Add more activities/analysis to the 1984 unit and move the unit to where we do not have block scheduling going on! Move the Literacy Portfolio unit to April and give them more time in class with computers.
8. Take down the individual calendars in the room and put up the big senior calendar. Mark all senior project dates on the calendar.
9. Write the standards being addressed for the unit on the whiteboard by the filing cabinet. Refer to it in class when starting a new unit.
10. Fix desk area so that you are facing the kids and the door not the back corner. Buy cable extension ports if necessary.
11. Move center table out or to the right by the door to give yourself more space on the board.
12. Move WOW words area to the cabinets- challenge them to fill all cabinet space by the end of the year. Use 10-20 of the words each semester on the final exam.
13. Find/purchase filing system to provide extras of forms.
14. Reorganize large filing cabinet to reflect current classes not previous.
15. Backup all files onto home laptop!