What Kind of Year was 2021?

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The best that can be said for 2021 is that it was definitely an improvement over 2020, but it was incremental, nothing substantive. Deb and I remained healthy and Covid-19 free throughout the year, suffering nothing worse than a cold. We’ve both been vaxxed and boostered, which has certainly contributed to that. Deb working out […]

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What Kind of Year has it Been?

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This wasn’t the year I was expecting nor am I in a place I ever imagined for myself at 58 but if I have proven anything over time it’s that I can roll with the punches and keep moving.EducationIn the first part of the year, I watched my hopes for staying at Owings Mills High […]

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ASNE Texas: Bonding and Barbecue (and some learning)

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Regular followers here know that I was fortunate enough to sneak in under the wire and get accepted to the ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Institute. I was selected to join the cohort in Austin, based at the University of Texas at Austin. I write this from the airport where my plane has been delayed […]

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Student Teaching has Ended

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For a number of reasons I have not written about student teaching this fall. A lot of it had to do with time. There was less of it this time around and there were other things to blog about. When they warn you at orientation to kiss you family goodbye, not to take a part-time […]

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The Waiting has Begun

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I am waiting for my final grade from my advisor, which is not due until next Thursday. I am waiting for schools that have openings to begin scheduling interviews. I am waiting to see what my next step will be.Meantime, the final three days were a rush of wrapping things up.I finally got to observe […]

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The Last Full Week of Teaching

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My last full week as a student teacher has certainly been a mixed assortment of activities. The seniors have been diligently reading their books in World Lit Seminar and every 50 pages or so are obligated to write a journal essay. Every day this week I have been taking a handful of kids to the […]

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A Work in Progress

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Eight days. I realized over the weekend I am down to my final eight days of student teaching after the break.It’s been crazy and hectic as I try to do more teacher observations to work on the areas that have been identified as weak spots. And there remains a ton of paperwork I still need […]

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Course Correcting

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A short but packed week.After having a good class to end the previous week, I got my written evaluation which indicated my advisor felt I still had significant areas of weakness so I spent a lot of time this week meeting with my two cooperating teachers to figure out what I can do with my […]

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Third Quarter & Third Observation

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My head is spinning from the wild week it has been. The third quarter rushed up upon us and like many teachers, I scheduled papers due on that day from all four of my classes so now have a ton of essays to read and grade before the deadline late next week.In 10th Grade English, […]

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40 Days Down, 20 to Go

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Here we are two-thirds of the way through my student teaching assignment and I feel like I’ve hit a nice routine. I am only periodically overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done and am staying nicely ahead on the planning.I suspect some of the good mood is because I spent all week in […]

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Last Week in Student Teaching

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Last week was another packed week as I find myself staying later and later, prepping and teaching and grading and generally enjoying myself. On Monday, I had my second formal observation from my advisor and while I thought the class went well enough (something my Cooperating Teacher noted), he missed some key details leading to […]

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Halfway There

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Last Friday marked by 31st day as a Student Teacher, putting me just over the halfway mark. Weird.This was an odd week thanks to the state-mandated CAPT testing for 10th graders. The abbreviated schedule varied by day and it took me a while to get a hang of things as I somehow managed to confuse […]

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Finally Teaching all Four Classes

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Last week, I took over the 10th grade classes and finally began Macbeth with them. I was excited about it and yes, a little nervous considering all the time I had spent prepping.Monday was the transition day, as my teacher handed out books while I took the class through a slideshow setting the stage. We […]

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Second Week Student Teaching Thoughts

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My second week as a fulltime student teacher was certainly a lively one and it continued to open my eyes into how much time and prep is required.In World Lit Seminar, we were concluding Imagining Argentina and I tried a few tricks to prompt my students into better participation. First, I assigned journal prompts to […]

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My First Week Solo Teaching

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This was my week to begin solo teaching in World Literature Seminar. The students had been given a schedule with the expected reading, two writing assignments, things they were to note in their journals. As a result, there were no secrets what we were doing day by day. I was preparing like crazy, making sure […]

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The Student Teacher Begins Teaching

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It was a rush.I finalized my Unit Plan on Imagining Argentina earlier in the week and began rereading the book, taking notes for the day-by-day discussion. My cooperating teacher scheduled a review of the plan for Thursday after school so there was plenty of time. But as the week wore on, she realized she was […]

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Student Teaching Week One

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My first four days of student teaching were pretty much what I expected. It felt a lot like my internship, watching from the sidelines, although I got to participate here and there. But as I also expected, my two teachers are different enough that I can compare and contrast, and learn.We began World Literature Seminar […]

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Student Teaching Day One

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After four weeks off, I returned to Darien today to begin my student teaching. On the one hand, it was incredibly familiar since I have been coming to the high school regularly and on the other, I was beginning an entirely new chapter in my teacher preparation.I was welcomed back like a long, lost pal […]

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Taking Stock

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The end of the year is a time to take stock, look back and figure out if this was a good year or a bad year. I think, for me, it was a transitional year.I began – and completed – a Master’s Degree program in education. I also did a full year’s internship at Darien […]

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Teacher’s Log: Internship’s End

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My final week as an intern and fill-in teacher more or less went as scheduled and I have to say the time seemed to zip right by.The World Lit kids had spent last week examining differing retellings of the Cinderella story so Monday we drilled down to the lessons one can learn from Hansel & […]

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Teacher’s Log: The Second Week

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The week was a whirlwind as I struggled to stay a day or two ahead of the classes while sifting through the mountain of ungraded papers. By now the students had come to accept the new situation and there was a lot less anxiety.On the other hand, I was making them work and they were […]

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The Master’s Degree has Been Obtained

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In January, I began my graduate career and today it ended. In between, I logged 33 credits plus an additional six credits of supplemental required undergraduate literature. At some point in the near future, I anticipate receiving a diploma in the mail, a physical memento of the achievement.My internship runs through the 23rd and boy […]

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Teacher’s Log: The First Three Days

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WednesdayObviously, the biggest issue of the day was breaking the news to the students that their teacher was gone and I’d be filling in, at least through Christmas break. There was a fair amount of jaw-dropping and questioning while I tried to keep them focused on the work to be done and moving forward.Thankfully, the […]

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It’s Showtime

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It was ten minutes before lunch yesterday when I was asked into the department coordinator’s office. One of the English faculty was leaving staff – almost immediately – and I was being assigned her classes for, at minimum, a week but more likely through the end of my internship on the 23rd.The teacher left behind […]

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