I don’t want to be one of those teachers who counts the days until summer. Alas, I am anyway.
Well, I’m not counting DAYS, yet, but I’m fully aware of how many weeks are left. Part of that is because I’m trying to figure out what the heck I’m doing for the last five weeks of school. Will I have time to do this or that? Will I have to stretch stuff or cram stuff? Can I keep the students’ attention with this topic when it’s May and I know they are counting days (not weeks)? Next week is state testing, so I won’t have my 8th graders for two days. I’ll spend the last three days of the week wrapping up To Kill a Mockingbird. My 7th graders finished The Giver today — they had some lively discussion about the ambiguous ending — and I think I can stretch another week of follow-up activities from that book.
And then what? Well, for 8th grade, we’ll read The Diary of Anne Frank, and both grades need to do persuasive speeches. But other that that, I’ve no idea.
I have been thinking about next year, though, and ways I can collaborate with social studies and science. Happily, both of those teachers are really excited to do the same. I’m cleaning out cabinets and figuring out what stuff in there I really need or might use, and what can be discarded. I’ve given away a ton of novels that were on too high or too low a reading level. (Other teachers snatched them up.) I’m looking through lots of resources, too — some of which are completely outdated (an MLA style guide from the early 90’s, a record album entitled “English Pronunciation Through the Ages” or something like that) or simply not useful to me (teacher’s editions of textbooks for which I have no student editions, a handwriting manual). And then I need to sort and organize the things I’m keeping.
So, in general, I’m thinking about a lot of stuff, and kind of nesting as well.
I just need to be sure that I’m not thinking just of next year, but also of finishing this year well.