Nearly the New Year

December 30, 2007 at 5:08 pm Leave a comment

Here it is, almost 2008, and I haven’t posted here in… well, in a very long time. I didn’t expect – couldn’t have expected – how much of a hit my blogging life would take in this Fall 2007 semester. I’m a blogger by nature, and keeping up (counting…) four blogs shouldn’t have been an issue for me. But one rough term, and all four hit the concrete. Poor blogs. And now here I am, completely in a hole. It takes a long time to build up a readership, and I’ve squandered all that. Not so much on this site, mind you, but I’d been working on another blog for 1,408 days. I used to have 100 or more regular readers, and now I’m lucky if one person stops by every other day. Sucks.

But it’s okay, because I’ve discovered that blogging is just one more thing in my life that is (fairly happily) taking a backseat to my new career.

(I know it is too soon to say. I haven’t even been in charge of another teacher’s classroom yet. But I feel as though I REALLY LOVE THIS.)

Pardon the disjointedness of this post; I just want to catch myself up to Now as expediently as possible. (That’s not the word I want. I want “quickly and efficiently,” not “advantageously.” But it will just have to do. Too far behind, no time to hunt for the right word!)

One Block Down!

Mr. Bees and I finished up our respective Professional Experiences successfully. By way of background, our school uses a three-block system for student teaching. In Block I, you spend 50 hours in a school tutoring/working one-on-one with students, usually ELL. Graduate students do not do a Block I. In Block II, you spend 100 hours observing and doing lower-level help around a given classroom. (Graduate students have 150 hours in Block II and tend to do more actual classroom work – grading, helping during independent work, even teaching their mentor teacher’s and their own lessons – than undergrads.) And in Block III, you’re a dawn-til-dusk full-time student teacher. You’re expected to completely take over the classroom for 6-8 weeks during your Block III. Well, Mr. Bees just finished his Block I at CeHS, and I just finished my Block II at CHS. (You’d think, since we’re having to use acronyms over here, that these schools would have had the common decency to start with different letters. :)) Unless something gets seriously shaken up, you have your Blocks II and III in the same classroom… but your Block I is often somewhere else entirely.

Mr. Bees wants to be an American Government (12th grade) teacher. Unfortunately, there are relatively few mentor teachers around in that subject – much fewer than there are English mentor teachers, and fewer than the number of student teachers who want that subject – so most government-area student teachers end up being placed in history classes, even junior high social studies. Mr. Bees was really unhappy about the prospect of teaching junior high history, and narrowly escaped that very placement – only to be specially requested by an AG teacher at CeHS! That was really a nice Christmas present for him, and I’m quite happy that he gets to do his Blocks II and III in his subject, at his grade level, and within sane driving distance. His mentor teacher’s name is CW, and I imagine her name will pop up from time to time here.

I will continue working with DR at CHS, and I really couldn’t be happier. She and I have very similar teaching styles, and I’m so happy working with the sophomores. I know that I’m getting a slightly odd experience, beings that I have the accelerated students, but I don’t think I’d trade it. I have been getting to work more with the regular class and learning how to adapt instruction for the other students, and I’ll be working even more on that this upcoming semester.

What We’ll Be Teaching

I’m not 100% certain which units I’ll be responsible for, but I know that this spring my classes will be covering Lord of the Flies, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and a general poetry sort of unit. They’ll also be prepping for ISATs and the EOC (end of curriculum) exams, which is fun-o-fun. 😦 I’m hoping that I can hand off LOTF to DR, as it is far from my favorite story.

Mr. Bees’s class will be covering the Executive Branch in third quarter (timely, given the election) and the Judicial Branch in fourth quarter. The courts are CW’s least favorite part of the curriculum, and they’re the Mr’s favorite, so that works out beautifully. He’s really excited. It’s strange to me that his Blocks II and III will be split over the summer break, but I guess it will all work out in the end.

In Preparation

We’re taking some time this winter break to prepare ourselves for the upcoming semester. It’s going to be rough, because we’ll both be student teaching and going to school (not as much me), which means we’re a rarely-home, zero-income family for a few months here. Scary, actually. We’re going to be living off the equity of our home, which is not the best of all possible situations, but it will be worth it in the end. Meanwhile, last semester really took its toll on our housekeeping, so we’re doing a top-to-bottom Clean and Tidy Campaign right now. I’m actually typing this in our office, which hasn’t been possible for many weeks, so that’s a huge step in the right direction! 🙂

We purchased a pair of large corkboards and a whiteboard and hung them up in our hallway. Maybe not the most Martha Stewart thing to do to one’s house, but it actually looks surprisingly good. They’re for us to use for school things – ideas, things we find in magazines, clippings, photos, notes, anything like that. Right now the only thing that is on mine is a tag from a bathrobe that says “Lingerie is the poetry in a woman’s wardrobe.” I’m not sure I can actually use it with sophomores, but I thought it was a neat (read: funny, and likely to be remembered) little metaphor.

Our wardrobes have had to evolve a bit to reflect our new lifestyle. We both like our comfy clothes, but we also both really like dressing up, so this has been fun. (And, come on, we’re talking about teaching. If ever you needed to be both comfy and dressy, this is it!) Ryan has worked in the technical industry for some time, and I’d been a student employee and an HR gal, so we had some decent “bones” to work with. We both got some very pretty clothes for Christmas, and I hit a very good after-Christmas sale, so I think we’re ready to go in the clothing department.

Fashion is an interest of mine – not necessarily in the high-fashion, runway model sort of way, but inasmuch as it interacts with the real world. I may take a little mental vacation from time to time on this blog to talk a little about Teacher Fashion, as a matter of fact. I’m intrigued by the What We Wear of it all, especially as it changes from school to school. I’m also fascinated by the phenomenon of “Teacher Clothes.” You know what I mean: holiday-themed sweaters, big chunky necklaces, cardigans. Clothes you see in a store and immediately think kindergarten teacher! 

It’s almost January, and I’ve told myself that I have until the end of 2007 to not think about my actual academic preparations for the spring. I need to start crafting some units and lessons here, because the sooner I can take the reins, the less likely it is I’ll get stuck with LOTF. 😉 I’ve encouraged the Mr. to start thinking about lessons and stuff, too; it’s a bit premature for him, but it kind of takes some of the edge off of your anxiety to actually do something.

The Future

High school, for both of us, starts January 7. College begins a couple of weeks later; I’m taking only one class – a required seminar – but Mr. Bees is considering taking 21. I think he’s completely insane, and if I end up having to put him in a mental institution after his inevitable breakdown, that’s going to put a real kink in the year. He’ll be taking summer classes and then doing his final dash for the finish line next fall. I’ll get my certification, God willing, this May and will be applying for jobs immediately thereafter. Word has it that there may be openings at CHS, but I really don’t want to get my hopes up…


Entry filed under: MR. BEES. Tags: .

Nouns Baggy Pants Mafia

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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

I am striving to maintain anonymity on this blog so that I may more freely interact with my fellow edubloggers. If you know who I am, please help me protect my anonymity in your comments. I use pseudonyms or initials for everyone I write about to preserve their anonymity as well.

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