Posted by: jsmcfadden | September 6, 2009

2nd Week of School

A couple of things are apparent.

ONE: I forgot how to plan for a normal class time. Every day in English 11 when the bell rang and students left the room, I was amazed to see how much of my lesson plan was still undone. Pencil marks circled the steps/items we didn’t get to and arrows pointed to the next day. But the next day’s stuff wasn’t planned accurately, either, so now we need another day of school for me to catch up. Instead, we’re going to have one fewer day of school next week: Labor Day. Huzzah!

Now I remember this push-pull. I felt it all last year, but hadn’t brought it to center stage until now. Push to get through as much as we can but pull to make sure every student gets it and it isn’t just covering territory. Circle back, I remind myself. Check for stragglers. Maybe get a couple of sheepdogs?

TWO: It’s more important to listen carefully than to speak too quickly. Several times last week (and the first week, too) people needed to tell me things or ask me things. The times I could still my inner AnswerMan until the student or colleague had told me or asked me, then my response was more gentle, focused, and helpful. The encounter would be remembered as positive instead of negative.

THREE: Food is a good way to show love. Good food, especially.

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