Saturday, February 14, 2015

A nine-week generalist

It's an interlude before I start to become a one-trick pony, er specialist. For nine weeks (one marking period) I am teaching three different courses at one time. Typically, in our block scheduling environment, I teach three out of four periods a day. One period is reserved for preparation and grading. It is normal for a teacher to have two sections of one particular class and then one of some other. With the exception of one marking period in 2008-09, that has been true for me. Now, however, I move from a Law elective to AP Macroeconomics to AP U.S. History.

It's work, but so far I'm enjoying it and think this will be a good nine-week departure for me. I get to work with three very different groups of kids in three distinct disciplines. Further, the Law class satisfies my appetite to discuss Constitution and government without getting into the stuff for which I have a strong distaste such as campaign finance reform. Also, I don't find myself bored looking at nearly 60 renditions of a given assignment: there are no more than 31 copies of anything to grade at one time.

This arrangement may also force me to better use my time, to better plan ahead. After all, in one prep period one hardly has time to adequately prepare for two different courses. Trying to get away with mapping out three is laughably impossible. So I do my mapping in advance, and I don't overdo that mapping.

It's likely that next year I'll be teaching all Macro all the time. This might be my last chance for a few years to see the variety of students that make up a high school. I should take the time to really listen to them and learn from them.

No comments: