Saturday, August 29, 2009

Post with no name...

I don't know what to call it... it's partly a vent, partly a "yay kids"..

With AVID, I've tried very hard to do things right - to be a cop and a cheerleader at the same time, to find interesting ideas for lessons, to get them to work hard and do well in their classes and it's flat out exhausting!!

The kids have been together now for a year, with another teacher, so they know each other and very comfortable with each other (read: chatty). The lack of focus at the beginning of the hour was driving me insane, so I started this week giving them quotes to write down and write how it applies to their life. Great idea, but I don't know how to make it work as well in class as it does in my head. I don't know how to get the kids away from restating the quote and into its deeper meaning and how it applies to their life.

Also, I started doing vocab - trying to get them to increase their vocabulary. They have to write the definition, the synonyms, use it in a sentence, and make some mental connections with a diagram or word association. Again, it worked great in my head, but most are not taking it nearly as seriously as I want them to. The ultimate goal is so they don't end up where I was in college - not having a very good vocabulary and feeling stupid more times than not.

One last frustration is how to teach them to write good summaries. I want them to summarize something without it being "today we did" or "this is notes we took over"... but I don't know how to *teach* that skill :( My math teacher training is not helping me much with this class and that's a HUGE frustration.

On the positive side, they wrote GREAT notes to their teachers this week, did a great job of writing good quality questions, and overall worked pretty hard for me.

*sigh* I hope I get the hang of this someday...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Treading Water

We've now completed two weeks of school (7 days with kids) and this week, uni is set to start. I am barely making it... Last night, while running some errands, hubby turned to me and said "Hun, I'm really worried about you - you can't keep this pace all year". My response: "I know - I'm worried too"

What's different about this year? Two new preps is a lot of it. Also, my 3rd prep (AP), which I've taught for 10 years, is always an ongoing project to me. I refine and revise every year. The hardest part for me this year is that I feel like I'm doing a very poor job on the new preps. I don't like doing a bad job at anything I do, so doing 2 bad jobs is about to kill me.

So, keep me in your thoughts - if you don't see me surface for a while, send the Coast Guard... my legs may get very tired of treading water :)