Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Reflections on the School Year

So this post is just going to be me rambling a bit about the school year. Feel free to skip over it.

This is the end of my third year teaching, and it has been a mixed bag. I certainly think that I have the whole hang of this teaching thing down, but I realized a few things too. For one, I am way too disorganized. I take too long getting student work back to them as a result. I also seem to make my assignments too big; not all students can answer 15 short answer questions in 50 minutes, if only because they throw everything into the answer, and what should only take a paragraph or two ends up taking 2 pages. I need to work with them at the start of the year on how to respond to short answer specific questions.
I took too much time on certain subjects in World History, like the Roman Empire, Islam, Christianity and Catholicism, and Early Man. Because of this, I did a disservice to vast tracts of European History, and I barely touched Asia, Africa, and the Americas. And I am most dissapointed in myself for only spending 4 days on the Holocaust, a subject that I think is the most important of everything I cover. But dammit, you CANNOT teach the history of the world in one freaking year and go into any depth. I am terrified of the FCAT; what am I going to do when they have to be tested on this stuff. How much detail should I go into? I wonder if I will ever figure it out; to me, if I can't go into depth, if I can't explain the whys and whos and hows, there is little point discussing the whats.
Juggling my own classes at UF and my career has been more difficult than I imagined. I took a total of 13 hours (5 classes) this past year in pursuit of my PhD, and got A's in all of them. But they are only going to get more difficult, especially as I get closer to my dissertation and quals. How am I going to continue juggling these things? I am excited, though, about actually teaching at UF in the fall. I will be preparing my syllabus and packet for that class soon. :)
The change in administration at my school has been difficult, but I think our new principal has been rounding into shape as the year closes. I just pray to God that there are no more freaking murders or hurricanes next year that have the impact that those events did at the school this past year. Oh, and I am stepping down from Union rep. I can't handle the duties of that on top of everything else. Ironically, I was asked to run for Union Vice-President. An honor, but I had to decline. I also turned down a job at PK Yonge. I think that I will be better off at WHS; they have agreed to be flexible with my planning period and to work with me as I pursue my classes. I am also working toward implementing the first AP classes in the county, a project I approach with enthusiasm.
Overall, a rough year I am glad is over, but I do have things to look forward to next year, and I am glad to be coming back. Ooops. I did ramble. Sorry.
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