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!


  1. David, Best of luck with your new assignment. My philosophy is to make connections and build relationship with the students. Once you have connected with the students the learning always seems to become easier for them. They will care about learning after they know how much you care about them. Happy New Year from your San Antonio Texas follower.

  2. Thanks Rich! I agree wholeheartedly about building relationships with students... thankfully, having been at this school for nearly four years in various roles, I know most of the students and they know me, so I look forward to building stronger relationships!

    Happy New Year to you (or as they say in French, Bonne Nouvel Année!)