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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by southgateharper on August 31, 2011
"Major rambling about school startup and all that entails - with some serious off-topic thoughts."

Back to School

It is rather ironic that I am being asked to write something from the point of view of a teacher - since I am one!! Back to school is always a time of great turmoil for me. It's not just the going back to work. I also have to get the rest of the family used to the fact that I will no longer be available at any time to do or take part in whatever it is they want me to do.

Today was the second day back to work. No students yet - but we had to go through all the adminstrivia stuff that I absolutely hate with a passion. I know we have to do it - but does it have to go on and on??? Acutally it was better this year than last - we didn't spend nearly as much time talking about teaching grade sevens how to use a locker and how long it should take to do so.

Startup will be interesting because we don't know what our staffing is yet, so the classes we have first week may or may not be the classes we have in week two. We'll have to wait and see. Right now all the grade nine classes are stacked up like cordwood - 32, 33, even 34 students in a class. No fun for the students and no fun for staff, either. With any luck we'll have that sorted out by the end of the week and have a new division of nines. And, if not, well....we'll just have to do the best we can with what we've been given, taskwise.

This year I'm actually going to take a shot at doing some Shakespeare - but not Shakespeare in isolation. I've developed a unit on relationships and Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" will work with it. But there's no way I'm going to read the whole thing without watching one of the movies that has been made of it, too. I find it really hard going as far as the reading goes ; I find it much easier to "understand" when it's spoken. But that's for later in the year.

This year with my Humanities class I'm going to start off with a unit on how we make connections with the world. The world is changing every day and how we interact with the world seems to be changing by the minute. If someone had told me ten years ago when I was at music camp in Sorrento that this summer I would be able to use broadband wireless devices anywhere on the site - well I just would have laughed. I had just gotten broadband WIRED internet access in my home ten years ago and that felt like a small miracle after using dial-up for so many years. Dial-up internet, now there's something I haven't thought about for a long time. Kind of like 78 records!!

I've also done some rearranging of the classroom over the last couple of days. Partly to make space for all the extra students I'm going to have, partly because I can't stand doing things the same way year after year. A little change is always good. But not too much - then I can't even remember how to get started. Getting out of summer mode is always a challenge.

My colleague from across the hall has just walked into the room. We're going to spend some time "retooling" our French program and looking at these little netbooks we now have. Students will be able to work on and send us notices of their completed work hanging out there in the cloud. Change is coming and we can either get on board or be left behind by the train as it goes flying by!!!

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