As I was planning a larger unit for English over the weekend in my head, it occurred to me what I was missing: My teaching partner. In the junior high school where I worked for eight years, I planned, thought through, conferenced with, found help from, and basically got much innovative curriculum designed with him. And now we don’t work together. Thankfully, he and I are also very good friends, and his house is on my way home from my new building. (Although truthfully, I go there more to play with his kids, than to talk shop with him.)
Hopefully, he and I will find the time soon to get together to discuss my tentative theme: Hope. Throughout the years, hope seems to be lacking from the students. They are lack-luster, don’t see the importance of an activity (even when –and actually almost especially when—the importance is explained to them). They cannot seem to see past tomorrow, or at the furthest, next week. I’ll grant that I probably didn’t either at their age, but the world has changed in the ten-plus years I have been out of high school. It is drummed into the students more how much importance these high school years have starting in the seventh grade. So “Hope” is the theme. I’m going to have a look at a book I heard about which sounds promising for this, called Common Shock.