Done for the Day?!

So I went into school yesterday. Only 4 weeks left until the animals take over the zoo (is that the expression?). As I was setting up my ever-expanding classroom library (LOVE that it gets bigger each year!), I realized I wanted a way to catalogue  and keep track of my books. Bring on Pinterest! I found these two apps:

Book Retriever – One Pinner said that this app allows you to scan, level and inventory your entire classroom library. Leveling choices include Guided Reading Levels, Lexile, Accelerated Reader, Reading Counts, DRA and Reading Recovery. SHUT UP!

One Pinner said that this is a MUST have for classroom library. It allows you yo use your smart phone and scan the bar code on your classroom books and then it inputs all of the info for you on a FREE data base. It allows you to let kids scan out the books and check out and check in them, separate them by reading levels and even put down their location in your class room. Did I mention it’s FREE!?!?

Looks awesome, right? I haven’t tried either of them out yet but I’ll keep you posted when I do. Have any of you tried something like this before? Are there any apps out there you recommend for something like this?

I know, I know. I have 4 weeks until school starts, why am I going already? Well, like I said, I am excited for this year! So today I went in to move my stuff from my old room to my new room (right next door, so NBD), just so I know I have that crossed that off my list before the onslaught of craziness that we call Teacher Work Week. I mean, we all know “Teacher Work Week” is more like Teacher Meeting Week, and there is hardly enough time to get our rooms together AND plan AND attend 17 meetings a day AND not feel frazzled going into the new year. Plus, I love being able to cross things off my list. And today, this was the only thing on my list so GO ME! I’m done for the day!

Hardly.

While I was there I saw my department head. She’s really great in that she wants to do what is best for the department, but she also doesn’t want to force someone to teach something they really hate. In my case, that would be 11th grade English. I don’t hate it, but the English SOL is a graduation requirement (SOL’s are Virginia’s Standards of Learning), and I just don’t love that kind of pressure. And there is a lot more flexibility teaching English in the other grades. My department head knows that, but she felt that I would be the best person for the job, so she asked if I would take on English 11. If she has faith enough in me to put me in an SOL year, I should have faith enough in myself to do it. So, my schedule this year is a whopper: Self-contained English 9, 10, and 11, and Team-Taught English 9 and English 11. Yep, that’s 5 preps, folks. The theory is that I can mirror my team-taught classes in my self-contained classes so it will be less work. However, I’ve never done that. Ever. I don’t like to recreate the wheel, but I don’t like teaching other people’s lessons, and I love self-contained because I can modify and adapt and create things to meet my student’s needs. It’s not a one-size-fits-all class, and this year I’ll be tailoring curriculum for at least my 3 self-contained classes, then modifying the team-taught curriculum for those classes (though really, my partners are PHENOMENAL so there isn’t much to do there). So this year will be a LOT of work. But I’m ready for the challenge. I’m glad I got my room together and don’t have to worry about that. Now all I have to do is worry about teaching 5 different classes 🙂 And though I thought I had only one item on my to-do list, I’ve just added a million more things to that list.

I’m ready for the challenges this year. And it makes teaching exciting again. I’m being forced way outside my comfort zone, but you know, I don’t think it will be that bad out there. Is anyone else as optimistic as I am about the upcoming year?

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2 thoughts on “Done for the Day?!

  1. I feel ya on the 5 preps and raise you–8 preps technically (some team teaching in there like you, but not as lucky in the partner teacher area:-x) but your optimism and go get em attitude is catching :0)

  2. 8 preps?! And that adorable baby, AND being a terrific wife, AND biking all over God’s creation AND everything else that life brings. But what will you do with all your spare time? 🙂

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