Hello! I'm joining up with some awesome English teachers who are excited to Hop Back to School.
Summer is winding down and I’m counting the days until I’m back in my classroom. This year will be my seventeenth in the classroom (holy moly that makes me feel old). Summer lasts one more week for me and I’m in full-on planning mode, as, I’m sure, you are, too.
While I’ve taught 9th and 11th grade English for the last 10 years, I’m excited to be working with juniors only this year. Not only do I love the curriculum, but I love the humor, maturity, and passion for justice that seventeen-year-old have. I’m excited to use some of my newly created lessons, and I can’t wait to bring in current events as we near the election to teach them about rhetoric. I know those will spark impassioned discussions and I love to see my students take a stand and pay attention to our world outside the school boundaries. As usual, I will be using Mentor Sentences to help students improve their writing and learn grammar without all the boring parts. And, of course, I’ll be looking forward to teaching The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye and to sharing my favorite novels with them to check out during our independent reading time.
As for the beginning of the year, there are a few things I always do to set the tone for the year. I make sure to greet students at the door and introduce myself as they walk in. That way, when I start talking later, we’ve already met. I also make sure that I learn student names before the first week is over. The students are always happily surprised that I know who they are and it makes our classroom much more personal and safe.
As an English teacher, I also get them writing early and often, and not just academically. My students write at least three times a week and the topics are varied, both fun and academic, personal and professional. I like to give them topics that challenge them, like my Writing Prompts, which incorporate song lyrics and thought-provoking prompts, helping them gain writing fluency while writing about their favorite subject…them!
And finally, I always rely on my row leader system of classroom management to teach student responsibility and alleviate some of the heavy paperload that collects. You, too, can make your life easier by delegating some tasks to students.
Enjoy and have a fantastic year!