Back to School.

I’ve started this post a dozen times. I have been trying to write a “Huzzah-It’s-Back-To-School-Time” kind of post, but it’s just not happening.

I participate in tweet-chats, I’ve read some professional development books, I’ve built a new class website. I have some ideas on how to be better. But I also have a lot of fear.

Fear that my new ideas won’t catch on with my students. Fear that any enthusiasm I have right now will be replaced by cynicism. Fear that instead of feeling burn-out in April, this year I will feel it in September.

I’m walking into this year with several unknowns. Our district is rededicating efforts to Response to Intervention. And while I agree with a lot of it, in some ways my educational philosophy will be challenged. On Friday I will listen to Rick Wormeli talk about grading–another area where I lean a little more old-school.

This year I will also wrap up work on revising the Pop Culture Studies curriculum, and there is a possibility that I will have the chance to weigh in on the English curriculum, which means immersing myself in Common Core.

I have this rather forboding feeling about this school year. It’s pretty clear that everything I know about how I teach will be challenged in some way. That’s not a bad thing, but it is scary. And on top of all of this, I still get to teach four classes that I really do love quite a bit.

So some days, just to survive, I think I’ll go old-school. Shut my door and teach. Tell the goofy stories I’ve been telling for 12 years. Use a method or two I’ve been using for 12 years. Show my students how much I absolutely love the content I teach and how much I absolutely love teaching.

I just hope all that love doesn’t get swept away in the Bermuda Triangle of RtI, Standards-Based Grading, and Common Core.

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