Pick it up

August 24, 2008 at 11:57 am
filed under Classroom, Connecting, Pedagogy
Tagged , , ,

I’m sitting outside, barely able to see this laptop screen because of the bright and the sun, eating watermelon and sourdough bread, leftover from last night’s evening with friends, and listening to music. Words and phrases jump out at me when they can, behind the keening of the cicada on the tree, and confirm why I do what I do and how I feel at this time of year.

Time to move on build the skills Time to elevate and never stand still Time to excel with no time to kill Time for progress it’s time to build – (The Herbaliser, Time 2 Build)

Get up! What we slowin down for? Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up, pick it up, pick it up! We got a whole nation to restore Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up, pick it up, pick it up! We gotta really love each other more (KRS-One Pick It Up)

So this is it. The last Sunday before 4 PED days, the 2nd to last Sunday before kids. Back in June I reflected (or (p)reflected as I like to call it ;) ) a bit about the year to come. I’m excited that I was offered the position I wanted, as a teacher in the alternative program at HSB called Directions (I spoke a bit about that here.) I am a grade 11 core teacher. I found out on Wednesday what that means: I will be teaching English, Math (not sure yet if that is grade 11 math OR Grade 10 math or both), Grade 10 repeater science, Economics, Ethics and Religious culture, and possibly civics. All of that layered within social skills and personal development curricula. Luckily I’ll be working with a tight teaching team – 3 teachers and a special ed technician – in a wing of the school that is quite separate from everything else. As are the students – they wear a uniform (their decision, no one else at the school does – outside of the jeans that don’t cover their butts and the caps that inspire teachers to mutter, mid-sentence, caps please, as they walk down the halls) and they are not allowed in the regular school environment. These are students with troubles, and the idea is to keep them away from the environment where much of that trouble has played out in the past. I am psyched about working in this community. I’m also a bit wary of the challenges that I know are to come when working with needy students and teaching subjects I have never taught before. I can’t say I am not, but like everything else – if it needs to get done it needs to get done and it does.

“…the only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep on doing it, and finally you’ll finish it,….” Langston Hughes

I always find this time of year…ambiguous and full of possibility. Logically, I know the courses I will be teaching, but in my heart, until I know my students, I don’t. So 10 more days of ambiguity…and then it’ll be time to pick it up for real.

…home page image for this post was found here


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  1. Ken Allan

    on August 24, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Days of Sun

    The hazy balmy days have come in fast,
    A garden-loose late-blooming tulip yawns,
    Limp petals soft from drooping roses cast,
    And daisies flourish on the feathered lawns;
    A cicada wakes from the nymphal sleep
    Then sheds the fragile nut-brown pupal shell,
    And so begins its steady skyward creep
    To chant the long percussive choric spell;
    The karo’s darkened pods crack and expose
    The cloying seed in clusters set to fall,
    A blackbird swoops down keen to interpose
    And sing his warbling chronicle to all;
    With these the days I long for have begun,
    The warm and lazy summer days of sun.

    Ken Allans last blog post at http://newmiddle-earth.blogspot.com..Procrastinating can tire the brain

  2. Hugh O'Donnell

    on August 27, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Best wishes for a super year with your new team. My wife works in a senior high alternative setting. Four teachers, 60 students. Linda’s the electives teacher. She really loves the whole environment. That team works miracles with kids who would otherwise be dropouts, and they inspire the students to become their own miracle workers.

    Graduations at Miller Ed Center are always tearjerkers.

    Have a wonderful year! –Hugh

    Hugh O’Donnells last blog post at http://repairman.wordpress.com..Recovering from Family Vacation

  3. Tracy

    on August 29, 2008 at 6:53 am

    Thanks for the well wishes Hugh :)

    Your wife’s school sounds a lot like ours. This year we have 3 teachers and a special ed technician for a little over 50 students.

    One of our focuses this year will be PD with other teachers in alternative settings. I’d love to connect with your wife.

    Is this the school? http://www.hsd.k12.or.us/miller/


  4. brran1

    on September 2, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Good Luck with everything this school year. I’m sure you’ll do great!

    brran1s last blog post at tbl2.wordpress.com..Thoughts About Atlanta

  5. Tracy

    on September 3, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks :)

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