jurassic 5 on my mind, quality control has been the soundtrack to the season. i met with mary (my mentor teacher) at her home in novi yesterday. we've planned out our first essay and in an effort to get to know the students, i'm going to be videotaping a performance of their "all about me" intro essays... we were both bringing up ideas for projects and she's letting me take over the poetry unit in february, as well as the persuasive essay unit. she made it clear that because of detroit funding issues, the first two months of school really are all about the MEAPs, and she found my interest in diving in and collaborating with her on curriculum to be cool.
with a new superintendent in the schools, she broke it down to me quickly: "i don't tend to plan until i get there, because they change it up on us every year, i don't know what the expectations are, and we have to run by the pacing charts, so... we fly by the seat of our pants." she's really excited to explore the kinds of projects and group work we can accomplish with two of us and it already feels like we're on a team. every sentence seemed to end with "we're on the same page" as a conjunction. and though i know already that our styles are different, (when i told her that i was doing the videotaping records of practice thing, she said "oh my god! i better plan exciting lessons, ha!") i can already tell that she's the type of teacher that her students remember for years.
we went over MAC's guidelines and expectations and talked about some of our own objectives, as well as some of the nitty gritty (weekly lesson plans are due on mondays, she will be printing a copy for me for records of practice. we talked about me saving a copy of worksheets/student work, and about their do-it-now (bellwork) journals. thursdays we're going to have a weekly meeting, her prep period is last period, so many details so little time.) over and over again i hear "get to know the secretaries, the janitors, the lunch ladies, the security staff. we talked about dress code for students and teachers, the heat index in her classroom, obtaining a digital overhead for my laptop so we can do powerpoint, i feel like it's alllll taking shape. 2 professional development days and 2 days to set up/clean/organize the classroom next week. i am so incredibly excited, i just can't hide it.
and now back to organizing the effective teaching handbook.