A few months ago my summer plans included re-writing the curriculum for where I was teaching, because I didn’t like how the Saxon books are SO scattered. I didn’t feel like the students were getting enough depth to build long term understanding when we were jumping all over the place. I think it’s a program that could work with a couple hours a day to dedicate to math… but with 45 minutes (less on Friday) it wasn’t working.
But, on the last day of school I got a job offer for another school. It was a hard choice to decide to take it, but I think it will be a better match for me. I LOVED the school I taught at before (other than the Saxon books, which I wouldn’t have to use the next year anyway).
My new school is switching to a new curriculum though, and we don’t get our materials till mid-August. So… not doing as much time lesson planning as I thought I would be. I’m not too worried about advanced planning though. Last year I taught many different classes, 6th-9th grade at a variety of levels, psychology, math lab, and once a week also did advisory and 2 enrichments. This year I have one class. I’m doing just 8th grade math. I might have an honors class and might have a remedial class (not sure yet), but whatever it is, it will all 8th grade math all using the same text. We are using the SpringBoard program so will have training for that in August a couple weeks before school starts.
So what am I doing with my summer instead?
Lots of READING!!
And lots of house/yard work. But that’s not as exciting as the reading part.
On my reading list:
1) The First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong. I’ve read this one before and it seems like mostly common sense, or maybe just things I’ve learned other place already? But going to read it again this summer.
3) Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov. I’ve LOVED this book so far. Lots of very practical little and very concrete ideas for ways I can improve. Love it. Really, go read it if you haven’t yet.
5) Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. I’m not an over the top person or very overly enthusiastic, about much of anything. I get excited sure, but I’m not so great at showing that. Very calm and mellow 🙂 So this one has been a good one for me, might help get a little more of that into my classroom.
8) Resolved, 13 Resolutions for Life by Orrin Woodward. I’ve been working with a leadership education group called LIFE for a few months now, this is one of the books I got from them. It has 13 areas of focus (purpose, character, attitude, and so on) and I focus on one each week. This is more developing me as a person that developing my classroom, but me being better does help the class 🙂
9) Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. This one talks about the 4 different temperaments and how to work effectively with those personality differences. For anyone familiar with them – I’m a melancholy sanguine according to the test in the book 🙂 Most of my strengths are in the melancholy temperament while most of my weaknesses lie in the sanguine one.
10) Newjack, Guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover. This one’s not an education book, just one I’ve had for a while on my list to read.