Well, we're about to start a new school year. I've been on massive child-care duty this past week because my daughter's daycare center is on vacation, and my wife has already started her school year. My daughter is cute, adorable, funny, and growing up to be a great kid (she's almost 2-and-a-half), and I have great respect for people who stay home and take care of kids all day; but having said that, being a stay-at-home parent certainly isn't the job for me. I'm actually kind of excited to start a new school year.
Some teaching goals:
- My long-term project (proofs of theorems involving triangle centers) in my geometry class was quite successful; so much so that I want it to become the focus of the whole year this year, and not just the last half. So I'll be identifying relevant theorems from early on in the year, and supplementing as necessary starting as early as October. I'm glad to take a little extra time in the beginning if it means a more successful large view for the kids. I just hope they buy into it as well as last year's students did.
- I have to be sure that I don't let a few students infect the attitude of a whole class. Last year, the students with good attitudes barely spoke up in a couple of my classes, and it really hurt the everyday banter with them when I had to get on some of the other kids' cases. I'm not sure what better strategy I can use this year (if I have to), but I'm going to have to think of something because I just didn't feel like I was serving some of my most deserving students very well.
- I gotta be better organized. I cleaned out all my files over the summer, and I'm starting over with more space allotted to organization; this is my chance. Now or never. I need to write down more of what I teach and plan ahead better, especially in my algebra class, where the long term is complicated by the fact that I'm not crazy about the book's organization, and I stray from it regularly. Someday I'll have to either find a better book or just...y'know...write my own. (Anyone have any algebra books for fairly fast-paced algebra classes they especially like?)
My classes are a little smaller this year, so that should help with the amount of grading. Also, I'm not starting the year having to spend quite as much time with my daughter—she's much better about going to sleep. On the other hand...I'll be following the election pretty closely, so the early part of the year will have plenty of distractions.
I know...boring post...I'm sure I'll have more to say about teaching once the year starts. For now my wife and I are eagerly awaiting Barack Obama's vice presidential pick. We'll know in, oh, 15 hours (probably) but the suspense is killing us.