I've been sleeping in and reading and watching tv and having a nice, relaxing time. Ooh, it's wonderful.
Thus far I have done no work....but I still have another full day to do so if I get bored. :)
The second week of school continued the good streak of the first. We are all reading and thinking, and I was happily surprised to see some (not all, but still) really high-level thoughts being written down. I began, just barely, talking about essays and paragraphs. Next week we will do some revision with their first essay assignment. I hope to do some actual differentiated instruction with it, which is a rarity. Also, in at least one class, I pulled aside two girls who had done extremely well and obviously know what they're doing with writing. I told them that since their essays were so great, and they didn't necessarily need to sit and revise, that I would like them to act as teachers helpers and work with the students who need to work on writing in paragraphs. They were very happy and excited to hear this, and I am very happy and excited to get the students helping one another.
This week we did a writing activity about accountable talk. The students had to come up with a situation where people interact outside of school, and write a scene without accountable talk (ie, rude and disrespectful) and then rewrite it with accountable talk. I told them they could choose the format: play, story, comic strip, whatever. They definitely perked up at that and eagerly got to work. Each class was working hard and quietly, and I was very able to circulate several times, checking work and consulting with students about their work and answering questions.
It was fantastic. This is what teaching is supposed to be like. And I was shocked to realize that I'm enjoying myself.
So! I will continue to think positively about the year, and be stern but positive around the students, and think about plans and activities that are not too fast but are challenging.