Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

I have to admit... I've been very negligent in my duties to update the blog... as the school year picked up, the blog got dropped. I would love to say that my new year's resolution is to update on a more regular basis, but due to circumstances changing, as listed below, I can't say that is a resolution likely to be kept.

During the second last week of school before the Christmas break, I interviewed for a new position. Those of you who have been in contact with me may remember that I have been a second grade teacher in the mornings, and the rest of the day, I have been filling up my time with substitute teaching. This new position is another half time job, teaching French in the afternoon at my school. Thankfully, despite what I thought was the most dreadful interview of my entire life, I got the job, and I am now moving on to full time (or rather two half-time jobs - and having done two half time jobs before, I know this is an odd Mathematical case in which 0.5 + 0.5 does NOT equal 1.0!)

So, with this new addition to my schedule, I have several New Years Resolutions... most of which involve preparing to teach a subject that I've never taught before, and is in fact very different from anything I've taught before.

However, with that being said, as I've read the philosophy of Pre-Intensive and Intensive French (what I will be teaching to grade 4 and 5), I was reminded of the strategy I've been teaching my second graders... to make connections as they read! Likewise, I was making connections, and discovering that despite the fact that French instruction has changed since I was a student (from written/verb conjugation/vocabulary to oral communication/speaking in complete sentences) I can still draw on many of the same ways that I teach primary students English! There are several connections to be made... there is a strong emphasis on Oral, but also Writing and Reading... Each reading/writing activity requires pre- and post- activities, much like a guided reading lesson. My brain began to light up!

Suddenly, I remembered what a district administrator said in a walk through earlier this year. I mentioned to her that I was enjoying what I was doing, but that I was struggling trying to fit everything in, with the short amount of time that I had with my class. She said to try to make connections across the curriculum. I thought I knew what she meant, but now I get it. The light bulb went on!

So with this last week of vacation, I will be hard at work to make sure I am ready for a brand new set of classes, but I will be enjoying every minute of it, as I also reflect on how I might be able to make adjustments to my second grade class so that their learning is maximized as well! Wish me luck!