Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Solo Week, So Far

So, I'm into day two of my solo week and it's going remarkably well.

Everyone I've ever talked to about this internship thing has told me that solo week is EXHAUSTING. Not just tiring, not just exhausting, but all-caps EXHAUSTING. It saps your strength, it taxes your ability to think clearly, it wrecks your sleeping patterns. "Nightmares! Nausea! It's horrible," they tell me!

You know what? Not so much. Now, I know that it's only my second day, but I've got a lot of stuff working "against" me that should, by all rights, be making this experience of teaching by myself even harder. I'm fairly new to the environment; I don't really have relationships with the kids yet and they don't know quite what to do with me. I don't even know all their names yet, for crying out loud. CT doesn't have her own room, and she shares a TINY office with another teacher, which means that I have ZERO real-estate to put my stuff. That means I've got to be hyper-organized and make sure that I carry all my books and handouts and stuff WITH me (my chiropractor is NOT pleased).

Top all that off with the fact that I was observed today.

I think it went remarkably well. I was able to get into a groove with all the classes I taught by myself. The AP class had a really good discussion about the differences between "freedom fighters" and "terrorists". We're going to be working with the text of Hamlet tomorrow during the block period - I'm looking forward to that. Period 2 freshmen and I had a great conversation about forgiveness (we're working with Weisenthal's The Sunflower) and retribution. I had them write last night about the concept of "justice" and was AMAZED by the number of kids who talked about 'eye for an eye' kind of stuff. It was a fun class.

Sam came to see me period 4 and 5 today. The period 4 freshmen did some REALLY good work reading some scenes from Romeo and Juliet (these kids have got a pretty good handle on the Bard - I continue to be impressed). They willingly (yes, willingly!) read the final scene aloud and did a fantastic job. They were able to dissect the language and made some really good observations about the differences between the text of the play and the film version they've been watching. It was very gratifying, ESPECIALLY since I was being watched.

CT and I team-taught period five - they're not ready to have me by myself and I know for SURE that I'm not ready for them, either. They were an exuberant bunch today - I think Sam left with a pretty good feel for why I didn't take the class on my own. I'm hoping that, sometime before the end of the semester, I'll be able to handle them by myself. Not today, though, and probably not tomorrow, either.

So, I'm off to do a little more planning. I'll update again in a day or so.

4 Comments:

Blogger vanx said...

The only problem I had with the Olivier Hamlet: No Fortinbras. How cay you wrap things up without the dustman?
Sounds like things are going swimingly.!,:^)

March 09, 2006 8:44 PM  
Blogger Mrs.Chili said...

Heh. There's no Fortinbras in the Gibson/Zeffirelli version, either, though I'm pretty sure that Branagh put him in his version (all four hours of it!).

Things ARE going swimmingly, though I had to throw two kids out of one of my classes today - one for swearing and one for not being able to settle down. Once that was done, I managed to impress one or two with my off-the-cuff recitation of Shakespeare's 116th sonnet, though, and that was fun. I'm done with this solo expidition tomorrow. I'll write a reflective post about it over the weekend.

March 09, 2006 9:21 PM  
Blogger Mrs.Chili said...

Yeah, I meant to write "expedition". Some English teacher *I* am, huh?

March 09, 2006 9:23 PM  
Blogger vanx said...

Well, I would direct you to the mess I got myself into being pompous about poetry at Kiss's place this morning. I think that I'm really loosing it!
Have a good week!

March 12, 2006 5:47 PM  

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