Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Photo Day

I stayed up pretty late last night readying my lesson (really, figuring out my equipment) and came in this morning ready to right the ship of my Romeo and Juliet unit (I'm assigning, not teaching, and losing the kids - mostly as a result of a crazy schedule lately) and change the students' lives forever.

I arrived way early, skipping my 5:30am gym trip and getting to school at 7am. I wanted to give myself plenty of time in case the LCD Projector didn't work, or the speakers, or the laptop, or the DVD.

When I arrived, I saw a memo posted in the mail room about it being Picture Day, that staff should make sure and head down to get their ID photo taken sometime during the day. I had a brief second of disappointment, as it meant, I thought, a constant barrage of announcements throughout the day: "All 9th graders with a Last Name between A and L, please report to the auditorium for your photo." But, I figured, that's okay, that I would deal with it, as 9th grade, my primary subject area, would probably be over with by the end of 1st period.

I overheard someone else discussing the day, though, and, it turns out, the onus was on the English teachers to actually bring their students down to the auditorium every period. The memo was supposed to have been put into our boxes sometime yesterday (not that it would have helped... I check it in the mornings), but that was neglected. Our department head was also supposed to tell us, but she forgot. Just a failure to communicate. Grrrr.... It always irks me when English is the dumping ground for things the school needs to do, whether it be Guidance visits or scheduling meetings - but it's the only class that every kid needs to take all four years, and the only subject where students are never out of grade level. Still annoying, at least when I have a good lesson.

So I was steaming mad, because I was excited about my lesson, but, by the end of the day, I was okay. We coordinated as a department to head down there at different times during the period, and ended up losing only about 15-20 minutes of each class time after 1st period (which was a mess and they're behind). It's actually a pretty neat process to see ID photos getting taken; the IDs are spit out immediately from a machine, and I gather them up and pass them out to the kids. It's funny to see all the kids and their smiles, or lack thereof (about 90% of the boys don't smile).

With the different time periods, I was able to at least start the lesson, and tomorrow won't feel as rushed, as we compare the Luhrmann 1.1 to the Zefferelli 1.1. The kids are excited and I feel like I've hooked them again. We'll see how those Queen Mab drawings look tomorrow.

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