to those of you that still check back in, i apologize for my silence. i haven't had it in me to post lately. largely, this is due to my decision to leave the teaching profession at the end of this school year. i'll be returning to school for a master's in social work with a possible second degree in pastoral counseling.
there are a lot of reasons for this. nclb is one of them. it kills me to see my kids fall through the cracks. it kills me that their success at school hinges more and more on a test. but there are other reasons. the school i am currently working at is too far away from my home to continue that drive regularly, and i can't imagine working anywhere else. the principal and other teachers and paraprofessionals are amazing to work with. and frankly, teaching was never my dream career. i made a decision based on job availability, security, and an early start date. i'm not made to be "on" all the time as is necessary being a teacher. i need to be able to shut my door and work alone.
knowing that this is the decision i am making has actually made the year easier. i feel less pressure to do all of the necessary TAKS teaching. of course my students are getting it but we're having fun with it. i put the "writing for social change" project on the backburner because we need to focus more on reading right now. so i've got the beginnings of a great unit involving charlie and the chocolate factory ending in a comparison of the book and the latest version of the movie. i'm admittedly nervous about taking on an entire book unit with my kids but i think it will be worth it. they have never done anything like this in all of their school years so they need to learn it on some level.
i am sharing my classroom with the esl teacher and we've been sharing a lot of ideas lately. one thing she did to finish the semester was have her students write a book of short stories. they chose fantasy and they workshopped the stories and published them and she had the books bound. i think that would be a great way to end the year so i'm keeping it in mind.
right now i'm trying to enjoy a relaxing winter break and get some planning done.