Day 98: The Penultimate Day (T-1)

Thursday, Feb 22

This morning was our science dept meeting where we talked about how to redevelop the 9th grade curriculum for next year. We talked overall goals first and then split up to make plans in small groups in the hopes of finding some common ground. When we got back together we were hilariously in synch but also had like a billion differences of opinion about all the things. It felt very productive, and I have high hopes of being able to teach one of the 9th grade sections next year. There will probably be 9-10 of them, and if I can push all the regular physics on to my colleague and teach AP, Honors, and 9th graders I would be so, so, so happy. It would be a supreme challenge to coordinate that many sections, but developing new curriculum is literally my favorite things, and we are all on the same page as far as using research-based progressive teaching methods from the ground up.

Yes, direct instruction is a thing that will happen sometimes, for sure, but the major balance will be between skills, content, and connections rather than students memorizing, following explicit instructions, and siloing all information forever for an individual subject. I know it’s possible, because even with the limited opportunities and support I had at my previous school for using these kinds of practices, I was still able to work some in and gain a lot of ground with my kiddos. With the full support of the entire school behind me, I am super duper excited about the possibilities.

Since tomorrow is the final, I’m in the dorm common room to work with students who want help with studying. However, I am being a monster right now. Student who has screwed around, shown up late, skipped class, and generally been extremely unengaged in class has shown up the night before the final exam asking about basic definitions and how he should answer the essay questions I GAVE OUT A WEEK AGO. Nope. The night before the final exam I will answer specific questions and proofread prepared answers, but I am not going to re-teach you the last term worth of material because you look pitiful and claim to be “so confused right now”. Instead he badgered a classmate into teaching him the last term worth of material. At least that’s good studying for both of them, and I’m at hand to help answer their specific questions if they run into trouble.

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