Saturday, December 20, 2008

Leading up to break

School couldn't be going better right now. First of all, I'm teaching To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time in a few years. Last year, it was made summer reading, which was a bad move because so many kids just don't do their summer reading. The year before, I taught 10th grade, so it wasn't part of the curriculum. So now we're eight chapters into Mockingbird and I'm reminded how it feels to teach this book. I wrote perhaps my best unit plan ever - the MYP Unit Planner helps with that - so everything is focused on that question of why and how people grow up, and who guides them along the way. The students are really engaged, so much so that yesterday, after I was told I was "the only teacher who is making us do anything today," there was only a few seconds of grumbling before we got right back into the discussions we've been having.

I don't quite believe the kids about what they told me, but yesterday was the Holiday Assembly. It's partly my favorite day of the year, because the assembly itself is just so wonderful - the choir is amazing and gave a typically awesome performance, complete with a really goofy "12 Days of Christmas" and my favorite song (I have to hear it every year) "We Need a Little Christmas". A couple of former students of mine collaborated on a rap that sounded so good that it felt like it could be the radio, the Step Club was really cool, and even the artsy dance troupe was moving.

In the old days, it used to be the last day before the holiday break, so it was a great way to send all the kids off. Now, they're worried about attendance on that day, so they made it on three days before we leave for the holiday. That's annoying, which is why it's only partly my favorite day of the year. Regardless, I will corrall all those kids into my classroom on Monday and Tuesday and teach them; there is no time to waste on holiday parties.

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