Wish us luck! |We Got the FUNK

Monday, May 5, 2014

Wish us luck!

Today at 8:00 am MST, my AP Environmental Science (APES) students will sit down to take a two-part 180 minutes long exam.  My nerves are probably worse then theirs.  I hope they feel confident, I hope they feel prepared, I hope they gained something out of this course and most of all I am hoping for some 3's, 4's and 5's!

This year in teaching has been the hardest I have ever had.  I took on far more then I could do extraordinarily well and ended up doing a lot of it, just okay.  1st semester I had 3 classes to prep (biology, environmental science and AP), AP was a completely new prep and unlike the other AP courses, does not have an exact prescribed curriculum.  In addition, we were working out of a book 10 years outdated and with a teacher who was ridiculously overwhelmed.  To add to the class load I was also the department budget person and I was trying to "flip" my biology classes (which I kinda sucked at, but am up for trying again).  Oh yeah, and I had a new baby and was using all my plan periods to pump and basically had no time to meet with my team...at one point I actually fell asleep at my desk during our work time and my co-workers just let me sleep.  Oh and I was trying to grow this blog and manage a household all while dealing with the tiny peanuts lack of growth.

Midway through this year I started to tune out.  To just stop trying to be the best at everything and just accept the fact that this year was a serious learning curve year for me and that I needed to take note and just keep chugging along.  Some great things have came out of this year.
  1. I learned my limit.  Yup, I knew one existed, but I had yet to hit it, until this year.  It was a good lesson.
  2. I learned that above all, my classroom management can NEVER slip.
  3. I learned that 9 teachers assistants is STUPID!  I love the kids but they are not always the biggest helpers and many times I was unprepared for them.  Oh and also sometimes they just distract me...Hello ADD, fancy meeting you there.
  4. I learned that flipping your classroom is INSANELY hard and that I need a better approach.  I am still tentative on trying this again, but I know that it could really be great and from what my colleagues students' were doing compared to mine, I know that it works. 
  5. I learned that I actually make some sort of an impact on these kids.  Well OK, kinda.  I knew I did but I am so incredibly honored (and slightly terrified) that the senior class chose me to speak at their graduation next Monday.  I've worked tirelessly on my speech and am so ready to just get it done and celebrate with these kids.
  6. I learned that the moment I let my organization slip my entire teaching strategies take a huge dip and I literally cannot process my next move.  It is absolutely terrible and some weeks I feel like I have no direction except summer.  Planning lessons and units has always been easy for me, apparently not this year.
Either way I learned that I had FAR too much on my plate, but I see the light.  My seniors are almost done (Wednesday), my AP kids are taking their test (right now!) and my underclassmen have 2.5 weeks left.  Summer is almost here folks, and as the year closes I am as always reflective in my practice and hoping for a MUCH better year where I can refine my skills and regain my confidence.

Until then, wish my APES kids luck.

Happy Monday!