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Beccabugaboo
 
 
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Beccabugaboo
 
 
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Brand New Teacher HELP please
Old 08-10-2015, 12:14 AM
 
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In just a few very short weeks I will be teaching for the first time as a 12th grade English teacher and theater teacher. The nerves are already starting to set in. I completed the ARL (alternate route to licensure) program at my university. The credits count towards my masters degree. I have plenty of online courses under my belt but only one semester of student teaching (practicum). I was in a 9th grade English classroom with a super cool teacher who was the same age but majored in both English and teaching. She was very knowledgeable and had a great style and wonderful classroom management. Unfortunately, I came in around January. The students/teachers already established a rapport and my main focus was to just pass the class and turn in my lesson plans, execute them and turn in my CALs (collaborative assessment logs).

Again, this was a great experience to get in front of a classroom and teach and learn about grading, different ways to assess, creating lesson plans and mainly getting a feel for what the students are like. But a las I feel as though I need more info, more experience, more training. I wasn't in a 12th grade classroom, am extremely unfamiliar with the curriculum I am to be teaching in 2 weeks and barely know how to create assessments and rubrics. Also, the school I taught at was a charter school with different rules, regulations and also privileges. For example, I will be lucky to get one ream of paper a quarter where as the charter school has unlimited paper. Also, my
mentor teacher was a part-time teacher and class time was an hour and I will be struggling to fill my 85 minute block schedule.

My plea is to get any advise, assessment techniques, tricks and also any lesson plans you might have for 12th grade English, Theater I, II/III. HELP!!

Thanks


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platypus platypus is offline
 
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Old 08-12-2015, 05:54 AM
 
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I feel your pain. Last year, I found out I was teaching three new subjects about a week and half before school. I did feel like I was just treading water for most of the year.

1. Are there certain titles you have to teach? I, personally, get a lot of control over what titles I teach in English but I know some districts have a list of what has to be taught.

2. If you are reading novels in class, don't give packets of questions over the novel. They are a pain in the butt to grade and kids hate them. I have a list of questions for each novel and the students are responsible for turning in a semi-lengthy response every 2-3 chapters.

3. Any big projects for seniors need to come in the first semester or the first part of the second semester. At the end of the year, they are ready to be out and they are super busy with senior stuff as well. My district is small and we do a lot of activities for the outgoing seniors.

4. Don't reinvent the wheel. There are a ton of assessments and rubrics out there. Use them. Tweak them to fit your needs. I'm still tweaking units I use in the sophomore class and I've taught sophomores for 6 years.

5. Don't be afraid to ask the kids their opinion on projects/assignments/units, etc. I'm upfront with the kids when I do a new project or unit and I ask them what worked for them and what didn't and sometimes it's perfect (super duper rarely), most of the times, it needs tweaking and sometimes it gets tossed because it was a disaster.

6. Not everything works for every class. I had a class last year that I could not give an inch to. I had a class one year where we did not do any kind of group projects. After I tried three times, I cut them out because they did not work.

7. One of my favorite lessons (that the students love too) is after we read Shakespeare (Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Midsummer) the students group up, they pick a scene and they have to place the scene in a different time and place and rewrite it. One group last year put Macbeth in a modern day high school and it was pretty awesome. I was impressed by the time and effort they put into it.

8. If you are going to assign a lot of writing in English (and I assign a lot in my English classes) get a list of your corrections and good comments and number them and write the number as you are grading. So instead of "you need a topic sentence for this paragraph," you would write "5." Kids get the list and it makes grading easier.

Good luck!
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Beccabugaboo
 
 
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Thanks so much
Old 08-13-2015, 03:29 PM
 
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I appreciate your feedback. I actually just got my key and stepped foot in my classroom for the first time today. Exciting and nerve wrecking. My district has curriculum engine which helps with lesson plans. And my school's website has course expectations with how the year is supposed to progress. I don't even have any books in my classroom as of yet. Completely bare shelves. But I do have an idea that I need to teach Beowulf and Hamlet or Macbeth; whichever is my choosing.
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bridgebreaker bridgebreaker is offline
 
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:21 PM
 
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Really appreciated your account. Esp. the rewrite of Macbeth in a HS
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