Whew. I’m exhausted. We just finished our first week of school and I will admit that I’m clueless. It is such a challenge to figure out what I can and cannot do with seventh graders. They are so little, and so adorable, and such scamps at the same time. It’s like the proverbial herding of cats. They just go in so many directions if you allow them to. I like them, and like my classroom, and am sure it will be a good year if I can ever get it started. It seems that whatever I do, I try to do it too fast, without enough pre-teaching. I can tell that they can do a lot of things, but I will definitely have to learn to include more steps in the introduction of each lesson.
I had taught a modified block schedule a few years ago, and liked it a lot, but now I have the same group of students for two consecutive 50 minute periods every day but Friday, when the periods are only 32 minutes. It will take a lot of preparation to fill two hours a day with these guys. I can see that I’ll be doing intensive planning on the weekends this year, or at least until I find my rhythm with it all.
Originally, I had kind of pooh-poohed the idea of following a pacing guide and using McDougall-Littel. I more than pooh-poohed it. I judged it as deficient, I’ll admit. Now I’m seeing it differently. I’m thankful to have an idea of where to begin, and where to go with my classes. I’m imagine that eventually I’ll deviate and modify the recommendations, but initially I’m glad to have this direction. I bet this will change my attitude toward the whole thing. It already has, actually. This is going to be an interesting year.