Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Always Better the Devil You Know/Good Luck with All That

For the first time in my teaching career, I'm looping this year. If you're unfamiliar with the term, "looping" refers to teaching the same group(s) of students for more than one academic year; e.g. teaching 7th and 8th grade English to the same group of middle-schoolers for two consecutive years. I was fully complicit with the looping plan, so I'm pretty much okay with it.

But I've spent so much time thinking about all the great things I can do with these same kids that I haven't really considered any of the unique challenges that might be posed by greeting the little devils I know on Thursday morning. (Just kidding! Mostly!) So, anyone who has looped before: Any pitfalls of which I should be aware? How much change is too much for kids who think they already know everything about how you roll? Is it easier or harder to increase rigor from one grade level to the next when you're looping? These things and more are beginning to flit through my mind. Your insights are appreciated.


Well, if you're a New York City teacher, you've already spent at least one day getting back into the swing of things, and depending on when you read this, you'll be at some stage of waiting for the kiddies to roll in on Thursday morning. My first day back was pretty good. The admins kept the agenda moving briskly, with minimal paper, drama, and tedium, and gave us plenty of time to work on our rooms and lessons. Most of the hard work of aligning units and lessons to the Common Core was already done in the spring, so we didn't kill ourselves on that one.

So, as I begin my third year (!) here at NYC Educator and my, um, more-than-fifth-and-less-than-thirtieth year in the NYCDOE, here's hoping that your students are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, your administrators supportive, your colleagues helpful, your supply closets fully stocked, your computers functional, and your students' families sane. Here's to a great year!
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