My first year of teaching was a study in classroom management, culture shock, becoming comfortable in an authoritative role, and the act of desperately throwing things at the proverbial wall to see if they stuck. Certainly, during the first half of the year, my day-to-day focus was survival.
In my second year, my focus has been the curriculum of my new AP Stats class, as well as improving (greatly, I hope) upon my skills as a geometry teacher. While I cannot say that my classroom management skills are perfect, “controlling” my classes is no longer something that I think about during every waking moment – or often at all. I no longer feel the need to vent for hours to my boyfriend, my parents, or, let’s face it, anyone who would even pretend to listen, about the stresses of my day.
I’ve even branched out beyond my classroom – thinking a lot about the math department as a whole – successfully pushing to change Geometry and Algebra II to full year, rather than semester long classes, and spending a lot of time brainstorming ways to improve my school’s new AP program.
Up to now though, my department has really been the extent of my educational thoughts. Of course, I read the Baltimore Sun and the NYTimes and Detention Slip (ahem), for updates about education as a whole, and I greatly enjoy reading other blogger’s input about major issues going on in Baltimore. But, for the most part, I’ve never felt informed enough about these issues to express my own opinions.
Which is part of the reason why I am so, so glad to be taking an urban school reform course this semester. Now I'll get to go all Hermione Granger on everyone and tell you all what is RIGHT!
I think I may have just officially announced what a nerd I am -- full disclosure: I love Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, the Dune novels, His Dark Materials, regularly wear a math t-shirt, Shakespeare t-shirt, and evolution t-shirt, majored in chemistry, play kakuro fairly obsessively, and calculate how to get more pizza at Iggie's when on a date (split the 14 inch pizza rather than getting individual 8 incher. This is not to be more romantic but rather to eat more delicious pizza. Also, order the Alice).
Now, enough about nerdiness. Let's get back to the important topic of Urban Reform. I am very excited that not only will I be learning about reform in urban schools, I will also get to blog about it -- and not just here! I’m sure a lot of you already know about The Challenge to Care in Charm City blog, and will be happy to know that it’s starting up again for the spring semester. I think the first post is supposed to be up next Monday.
So, Thursday is shaping up to be my favorite day of the week this spring. My Urban Reform class is on Thursday nights and so is The Office. Enough said.