Tabula Rasa, or how I wanted to start the second quarter.

With the start of the second quarter, I vow…

to be more creative, to start a project, to put more effort into making each lesson plan clear. Basically, to bring the enthusiasm back to the classroom that I had on the first day. I made a really great first day presentation where I made a pact with the kids: they put forth their full effort and they get me at my full effort.

I told my students its the start of a new quarter. We have a blank slate to work from. Thanksgiving break just happened. I think I will repeat the sentiment on Monday: a blank slate and a new vista of territory to cover. And I hopefully will repeat that sentiment to myself too!

With the start of the second quarter, I’m (by definition) over 1/4 done with the year. Champagne all around! Seriously, though, that opened my eyes. Everyone says first year teaching is really hard, a lot of work. It was, in the beginning, but I’ve learned where I can streamline. (I can’t imagine this is true in the sciences, history, or English… but math is incredibly easy to prepare for. Smartboard makes it time consuming, but it is still easy.) The hardest part so far is becoming emotionally uninvested. And even doing that, I think, helps me out. It isn’t that I don’t care about my students, but I need to have a hard edge to show my students I mean business. So it’s going well.

Also at the end of the quarter, I had to write comments on each of my students. This too went well. What struck me about the comment writing process is how easy it is to write comments for the students who aren’t doing so hot.

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