Did you forget about my #oneword2015: fearless? To be honest, I almost did.
If you haven’t gathered based on my last several posts, I am moving school districts for the 2015-2016 and I’m really excited about it. I am very sad to leave my students, but really excited about where this opportunity takes my career and my family. This was a definite #fearless choice because I love my students with all of my heart, but knew on the inside that my (old) school was not the place I could spend any more of my teaching career.
That brings me to my new #fearless steps and excitement about new possibilities:
One of the things that I most excited about is having a second French teacher in the department. We only overlap in teaching one level, but it will still be wonderful to have her insight, ideas, and experience on my side. It seems that we have a similar style, though she is a much more seasoned teacher than I am. With that comes my anxiety that I now get to fuel kids and prep them with the foundation to have someone else as a teacher, who may expect different things. When you’re a #deptofone, you can get by with missing out on a few things because you’ll be teaching these level one students next year, the year after that … and the year after that. Now I have the weight of making sure I get these kids through what matters so they don’t suffer later on. I know this is how normal teachers do it, but still … scary.
2. First year of technology integration
I’m also SO excited about my new school’s 1:1 technology integration and their commitment to blended learning for next year. My high school students will each have a Macbook Air, and my middle school students will each have an iPad. There’s a district version of Schoology, I hear through the grapevine that we’re getting PearDeck, and I’ll have a Mac as my school computer (I love technology, but I really don’t like PCs – bring on the Mac jokes, I can handle them)! This is the real first year of the 1:1 rollout, at least at the high school level, so I couldn’t have found a better time to merge; I won’t be the only one trying, failing, and retrying tech integration this year!
3. Two preps
The next thing that I’m excited about is less preps. Though I’m happy to have experience teaching 4 levels, I’m definitely okay with moving down to two next year … Might I have … free time?! Probably not, with all of that new-fangled technology. But it’s nice to dream.
I always thought that I was an AP French teacher. I imagined myself teaching students to write persuasive essays, speaking in complete French, telling jokes that students understood, etc. I remember on my first day of teaching, I determined that I severely disliked French two, French one wasn’t my style, and that French three was clearly my favorite. Two years later, French two may be my favorite, and as long as I can get a handle on speaking 90% TL with them, I also like French one a whole bunch. I’ve actually done a frighteningly bad job with French three and AP French, but then again, I’m my own biggest critic.
As of right now, I don’t have a classroom to call my own next year. I don’t know if that situation will change, but I am assuming that I will be a cart teacher. I will also be traveling to two of the district’s middle schools, a change that I was originally not very excited about. “What are you thinking?!” has run through my head a few times, and potentially yours as you read this, so I will share my positives with you:
I am extremely organized, so cart teaching doesn’t intimidate me. If anything, it forces me to be more prepared so I’m not running around like a crazy person at 7 AM. With less preps, I think that I can handle both a mobile classroom and changing schools. And let’s face it … how many days out of the last two school years (approximately 360 days) have I seen the outside during daylight hours, gotten fresh air during the day, or had the potential to grab a coffee pick-me-up one those particularly rough days? Three, if I’m counting exam days and being lenient on the others? For these reasons, I am very excited about the change. I was initially worried that I was giving up my program, students, and presence in my school to be the teacher version of an intern (coffee runs, anyone?) but I am so excited about these new challenges and can’t wait to share them with you.
I can say, that of all the decisions I’ve made, this is the one that makes me the most hopeful for the future, both personally and professionally. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences and resources with you!
What about you? Are you changing schools, styles or practices for the next school year? I’d love to hear about them, or to hear about your experiences travelling between schools or on a cart.