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Tamara

YAY for you, I hope my first day of our second semester which is this coming Monday goes as well as yours. I did have one student ask me if she could be my aide if I get hired there. (I did my student teaching at this school) I hope she comes by on Monday, first time teaching, an aide would be a godsend.

Congrats, and don't go read my blog, my day today, first day for teachers to go back, was herrendous hell. Gotta love paperwork. :)

Sherri

So glad you had a great day!!! I am very happy you get to teach some Honors kids this semester. It would probably help out with new teachers' burnout if all schools rotated things around a bit like yours. In some ways it's pretty crazy that our schools tend to give the newest teachers to the most challenging kids.

I wouldn't feel too guilty about the good feeling you got after your honors class. The general classes will always take more "management" (and thus will be a bit more tiring), but knowing you, I think you will get a bit of inspiration and some new ideas from the honors classes to try out next time around with the general class.

Kathryn

Six years ago oour new principal decided we were going to split good and "bad" assignments. Although I had been teaching for several years and kind of got screwed, (I did my time on the new teacher detail,) I am glad he did it. It keeps all of us healthier in the long run and it has definately improved our rep as a school.

Nancy

I think a mix of levels is best for everyone, and if the forcasted teacher shortage (the wave of baby boomer retirements) actually occurs, I think most schools will have to go to it to attract and retain good teachers.

My present school encourages people to get gifted and AP certified (we don't have honors)and lets them teach some classes when they do, but where I started it was all general all day. Some folks worked their way up in a few years, but I think I would have left teaching had I not switched schools.

My experience with teaching gifted has been that it makes my teaching of regular college prep. better. There's the intellectual stimulation of the class discussion themselves of course, but more importantly the success that you have with some plans and the meaningful insight that the students can give about their learning allow you a better sense of what to do in other classes of less articulate kids.

John

I agree that it's critical that all members of a department teach the full range of their curriculum. When that doesn't happen, all sorts of internal conflicts develop that are not good for teachers or students.

It's not only the intellectual stimulation that can come from working with strong students. I always use my Honors sections to experiment, to try something new. Once I see how it works, it's a lot easier to introduce it in my other sections.

Here's another thought: I've always been able to keep myself interested in basic courses by making the pedagogical and learning problems a source of intellectual effort. While the content may be lower level, every user of language presents interesting issues in how they learn, both in skills and attitudes. You can formulate that as an inquiry you are trying to learn from.

Have a great semester.

rachel

it's very true about good days and bad days, Thursday I wanted to walk out, then Friday went fine. You never can tell.

Lisa

I just found your blog on BoB Awards page and I am interested in following your writing! I taught HS English for 3 years before the Air Force moved us and then we had a baby. Now I stay home with her. But those 3 years taught me so much!

And I am amazed to identify with every single thing you said, down to the 'being mean' on the first day. I had a rule that I wore nothing but suits for the first 10 days. It doesn't help that I'm 5'3" and look about 15 myself, so that rule helped draw the line a little.

I am excited for you and will be reading, living a bit vicariously through you!

bari

Well, hello fellow English teacher! I am not quite sure how I found you...a blog roll I believe. I will definitely add you to mine as I am sure we have a lot to compare! Stop by and visit. :)

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