The Hunter/Gather of Surburbia

Are we where we live?

August 24, 2014

First day of 2014 school year starts tomorrow

After spending four days with just teachers, assistants, support staff I am ready for the larger challenge of the students. Teachers always spend a week or so attempting to motivate themselves and be motivated. I sometimes hear from my noneducator friends that this first week must be great with no students. To them I say, "HA!" They have no idea.
When administrators get together to plan this first week, for them it may be just like the first week with students is for us. They have to navigate what they must present to us, along with our trying to reboot for the coming school year. Which is just like the first week of classes with students.
Each inservice week here in Hermiston we have had great motivational speakers. For two years now we have been motivated by Dr. Cruz. Dr. Cruz also spent that evening with our 9th grade parents introducing Hermiston's Parent University. I truly have no idea what goes on there as I teach Night School so I can't drop in. The concept is an excellent one, get the parents to school once a month and help them navigate our wonderful High School. They have two sessions, one in English and one in Spanish. Lisa being Lisa immediately thought what about those who don't speak either language. That's just me being alternative.
This year my co-teacher and I have been tasked with teaching in our direct instruction classes using a proficiency model. Not only are we going to post these proficiencies, but our students could all be working on a different proficiency at the same time. I am still wrapping my mind around this concept. I'm not at all resistant in the sense of implementing this new model, my reluctance comes from not teaching content. I'm a Social Studies and Language Arts teacher, my passion is the Social Studies and to not dig deep into content just doesn't sit well with me. I love the idea of the students choosing a topic and then through that topic researching, writing, and presenting their topics. However, I am supposed to only do the direct instruction part of the period for 15 minutes then turn them loose to work on their individual topics/projects where I mentor/monitor them for the rest of the period.
So my passion is being diminished, in my opinion, to barely an echo of what it could be. That is why, unlike all of the past first weeks of school I have taught, this one is not as exciting as the others. It tops only one and that one was a dark hole I only climbed out of when I left school at the end of the school year.

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