Next semester may just drive me over the edge.
In addition to my four middle school classes (two sections of 8th grade language arts and two sections of 7th grade language arts), I have another class. This semester it has been a middle school public speaking class. That’s been pretty easy to plan for. I’ve taught speech many times, and especially since I had each group for only nine weeks at a time, the planning and grading was simple. Next semester, however I’ll have a high school etymology class.
Now, I’ve taught etymology two years in a row, but this year I’ve changed books. First of all, I wasn’t loving the books I had. Perhaps more importantly, however, is the change that is happening with the SAT; the vocabulary part of the test will be less about knowing a whole lot of words and more about being able to figure out unfamiliar words. My old books were all about memorizing words. The new books are about learning Greek and Latin roots and prefixes, which will help the student to decipher new vocabulary. So all my lessons and all my tests will be different.
On top of that, I decided to offer a Biblical Literature class next fall. You might think that I wouldn’t have to do any planning for that until the summer, but in reality, I need to start thinking about it now. Before the end of the school year, I’ll need to turn in lists of supplies that students will need, and that means I’ll need to decide which version of the Bible I want them to have, plus any novels we’ll read so that the students can obtain those over the summer.
Oh, and one more thing. I’m taking a graduate course next semester. The university with which my school is affiliated offers four courses that will earn a teacher a Gifted and Talented (or High Ability) license. The Dean of the Teachers College (which oversees my school) really wants a large portion of our teachers to be licensed because a fairly high percentage of our students qualify as High Ability. Plus, there is a grant that pays for the coursework. So I can take the courses for free (I pay for them up front but get reimbursed when the grant money comes in), eventually will add another area to my license, and make my employer happy. Not only that, but since I plan to take one course a year, some of my coursework will then count toward renewing my teaching license. (I have what I need to renew in 2016, but I’ll need to renew again in 2021 and it will be nice to have that done by 2017!)
So… I’ve put a lot on my professional plate — never mind the stuff I have going on at home.
If I go over the edge, you’ll know why.