Monday, March 17


break down? break free? breakfast?

Last week was "Spring Break". We had Thursday and Friday off so I drove home to Minneapolis. My students get big eyes when I tell them I went to Minneapolis for the weekend. To most of them it may as well be an alien planet instead of an eight hour drive.

It was an excellent break. I saw my little brother perform in the famous Passion Play at Holy Name, which was huge and impressively elaborate and well done for a group of over 100 9th graders. Such a different world from the one my students live in.

I also attended Chelsea's birthday cocktail party at their incredibly great apartment in Uptown. It was wonderful to go to a party and mingle with NEW people! Like-- people I've never seen before or talked to before! I love the TFA South Dakota corps, it's a pretty fabulous bunch of people, but I miss meeting new people. Especially new people who aren't teachers :-P

I'm SO ready to be home for the summer. I was ready to just stay home until August in fact.... There's still a lot of work to do and fun to be had here in SoDak this spring however. For example- teaching something for the rest of the year! eep.

Luckily today at school was pretty easy since tons of kids were absent or on an incentive trip and the rest were pretty mellow. I'm not really sure what I'm doing with my classes for the rest of the year. For the next two weeks we're doing a test prep packet to hopefully get them a little more reading for state testing. After testing... I don't know. I'm so far off from my original long term plan that it's pretty useless to me now. My options are-- Read Romeo and Juliet. Read "Absolutely true Diary of a Part Time Indian." Do a poetry unit. Read another short story, then have students pick another novel of their choice to read and have them do some sort of project with it that would demonstrate mastery of literary elements. I'm leaning toward the last option, because kids have been really engaged and doing really well with independent reading the last few weeks and they wrote some great book reviews. I'd rather let them do more of their own reading than try to get them all to read the same thing. They read and work at very different paces.

I think my curriculum next year is going to involve many more projects which can be completed independently or in small groups and can be at different levels for everyone. Whole group instruction just isn't effective here.

I'm scatted and rambling... ciao.

Sunday, March 9

Springing ahead...

There are approximately 50 school days left this year. Too early to be counting down? nah, I don't think so. It's March! almost mid-March even. craaaaaaazy. I must admit that my thoughts are turning more and more to end of the year and summer time daydreams. More that that though, they're turning to next school year and how I'm going to do all of this a heck of a lot better the second time around. The two year commitment is definitely a good thing. I'm much more invested in improving my teaching because I know I'll be doing it for another year at the very least. I'm actually really looking forward to spending a lot of time planning my curriculum this summer and making it really solid and something I'm excited to come back and teach. Of course it helps to know that some of that time spent planning could happen, oh say, while sitting on the dock at the lake house in my swimsuit getting a tan. sigh....

50 days... I can do it! That still leaves time to learn many things and read many things. I must resist the feeling that I should just scrape by for the rest of this year until summer. This year counts too, these students have to learn just as much as next year's students. I'm just so... tired. Having summers off may seem like a sweet perk, but right now I really can't imagine surviving this job without it!

Next week we get Thursday and Friday off for a four day "Spring Break" and I'm grateful for the chance to go home once more before the end of the year. Also that I get to go to Chelsea's B-day party and see my little brother in the church Passion Play (he is far less thrilled about being in it I'm sure!).

Short post, not much to say right now, but I felt I should update.