August 1. This is the month that starts new things and ends old things at the same time. New school year; end of the summer break. This has been our first real summer break for quite awhile. Moving to Nome last year made our summer really short, with Bremerton’s school year ending June 22 and Nome starting up mid-August. This year, we got from the tail end of May to…
August 17. That’s the new day for teachers. And then we have, ugh, FIVE days of teacher inservice days and two work days before the kids come back on August 29. I just wish that the inservice days would be spread around more. Anything more than two in a row and they all start to blend together. Implementing new ideas from five days of inservice is a bit difficult.
But it does give us plenty of time to get things in order for the school year. I like that. The first year I taught, at South Kitsap, I started actually the second day of inservices so I missed a bunch of time. I was behind the eight-ball to start with. If anybody understands how much work a teacher has to do even before the kids ever walk through the door knows that time is a major factor, especially a new teacher. I’ve gotten a lot better those first days of school. I really have to thank Harry Wong’s book The First Days of School for a bunch too. Just setting up a new school year is a lot of work.
I’m excited coming up here because I get to teach sophomore English and one section of senior English. So I am really dancing about teaching some real Shakespeare again. The sophomores are going to do Julius Caesar because that is one where I really only have to do the first three acts and the last bit of the fifth act. It’s nice and short that way since the fourth act really just has Brutus and Cassius fight each other verbally anyway. Romeo and Juliet too. Which to do first? I am going to have them do their Shakespeare memorizations too again because that is the part of English that I really love—so, yes, I force them to do it too.
I don’t know what novels to do yet because I don’t know what novels are taught “above” me in junior English yet. And I don’t know for sure how much I can do with senior English literature-wise because I thought it was named Business English or some such. I hope it’s not just that. They don’t have a real British lit here like I am used to.
Volleyball starts in mid-September too. That’ll be nice this year because of the new gym and having two nets at practice so I don’t have to go through that whole split up again. Cohesive.
So I will enjoy these last couple of weeks.