Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Hook

With the first day of school 6 weeks away, I am already nervous about whether or not I will be able to convince my students that what we will be doing all year is important to their lives. The prospect of moving from the Pre-College class I taught last year, with its mostly committed students who at least understood the importance of going to college, to teaching 9th graders has me worried.
I taught 9th grade English while student teaching. I remember it being pleasant, but honestly I think it was that particular year's cohort group. Last year's 9th graders seemed less mature, but then again, I didn't have them in class.
The hook happens within the first two weeks of school. Unfortunately for me, my school is requiring two separate tests, both taking two days each, within in the first week. The first day of school I will hand out the syllabus and go over the general school and classroom rules. The second and third days will be a baseline reading test--crafted after the WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning.) I will then have a day to do some get-to-know-you activities, followed by two days of a baseline writing test--again, crafted after the WASL. Because we start school on a Wednesday, the first "two" weeks will more or less be filled with testing. I bet that my students will love English class by the end of those two weeks!
And because I am a teacher, I am responsible for motivating them through all of this because, well, who else are we going to hold accountable?


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