Monday, August 11, 2008

The Start of Year #4

Amazingly, the 2008-2009 school year will be my fourth in teaching. It will also be my first year with tenure. I cannot believe how much time has passed between when I started and now. But, this is not a post to reflect on what has come before. Instead, I'd like to focus on things I would like to improve for the new school year. I'm going to break down my goals by class. Then, I will revisit them in June and evaluate myself to demonstrate how I did.

Goals for English 1 CP
Overall, I really enjoy teaching this class. I've only had it for two years, but my lesson plans have taken great strides and I enjoy working with the ninth graders very much. I find them willing and energetic, which makes for a fun environment. On the whole, I'm pleased with what I've achieved so far, but here is a list of things I'd like to improve upon in the immediate future.

1). Improve Poetry instruction by making it more meaningful and accessible.
2). Engage students in more meaningful discussions relating readings to their modern lives.
3). Teach The Odyssey in a more cohesive, understandable fashion.
4). Introduce some research element to the Comparative Mythology unit.
5). Spend more time discussing modern myths.
6). Flesh out the lessons on my two favorite stories, "The Most Dangerous Game," and "The Birds," and try to really help the students to understand the moods of the stories.

Goals for English 3 CP
This will be my fourth year with this particular course, so I am very familiar with the texts by this point in time. I think that the plans for the texts during the beginning of the year are quite strong, but there are some gaps in lessons that occur later.

1). Read sections of The Prince during MacBeth and use them to analyze the characters of MacBeth and Lady MacBeth.
2). Find a better way to teach vocabulary.
3). Create more interesting lessons around The Canterbury Tales and The Decameron.
4). Find a research paper topic that is interesting and challenging.
5). Find a year-long project idea that encourages reflection without being overly confusing or cumbersome.

Goals for SRA English
This class has met with great success. Of all of the students who have regularly attended this class, all of them have passed the New Jersey state Language Arts requirements for graduation. Something I am doing must be working. However, there is always room for improvement.

1). Differentiate assignments better based upon a particular student's needs.
2). Stay organized with all of the paperwork needed to run this class.
3). Continue to positively reinforce all student work.

General Goals

1). Create better methods to teach and evaluate vocabulary skills.
2). Encourage students to become more proficient at answering open-ended questions.
3). Do not leave so much work for the end of each marking period or for the end of the school year.

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