Thursday, February 15, 2007

The break

In one day winter break begins. I will have a week to rest, relax, work, lounge, travel - essentially, do whatever I would like. Aside from a two-night trip to Vermont with a few high school buddies, the rest of the week is wide open.

I'd like to go snowshoeing, see my family, play basketball, finish the book I started reading over Christmas break, watch a few movies, write, and think.

In 2001 when I hiked half the Appalachian Trail, I had plenty of time to think about life and my place in it. I miss the clarity of mind that comes from a rested, active body. Gradually I would like to restore a routine of physical balance to my life.

Over the next week I'm sure I'll also spend some time viewing other teacher blogs. It seems that with each blog I read, there are 10 more I discover that I should probably be reading too. I need to organize all the links I've bookmarked, and revisit some of the sites I've saved. There's so much information out there.

I'll also plan upcoming units. For my freshmen, I have a poetry unit that I'm really looking forward to. My students last year seemed to dig it, and this year there are new tricks - one being a poetry slam.

At the NEATE conference last fall, I attended a seminar put on by Geof Hewitt, Vermont's poetry slam champion. He was energizing and inspiring, and I can't wait to host a slam in my classroom.

With my seniors, we'll be doing Lord of the Flies after we finish up our Macbeth skits and essays. Hopefully the thematic similarities will carry over. But perhaps more importantly, I'll be able to present the material in such a way that my reluctant readers will tolerate - and perhaps even enjoy - William Golding's haunting story about human savagery and society.

2 comments:

mex (aka Syb) said...

I got here from a comment on Graycie's blog. I appreciate the link (Habits of Mind) and also appreciate the points you made, all gopod ones. I wondered, though, where does core knowledge (ED Hirsh, for ex) lie in the big pic? I am a long time teacher (31 yrs)- every grade except first.. mostly English, often GT (gifted talented) and +it+ is sorely amiss.. even w/ Bright Kids.. Gawd knows about the others.. (non GT).. Thx for the read.
SL

Mr. B-G said...

Thanks for the feedback. I don't really know much about Ed Hirsch or his concept of "core knowledge." Based on a quick glance at his website, it appears he focuses on the preschool through grade 8 curriculum.

My post on Graycie's page was about the skills and habits we're trying to cultivate, just as much as the knowledge we're trying to inculcate.

I think Bruce Schauble sums up these habits well in the form of "imperatives": Pay attention. Be patient. Keep an open mind. Do good work.

I agree that successful people are attentive, patient, open-minded, and possess a strong work ethic.