So, it would seem that my regular readers have noticed my demanding schedule has affected my blogging. September ends at midnight, and I've logged 46 hours in my little experiment of keeping track of the amount of out-of-school hours I work each month. I'll spare you red-penned details and say I've developed a pattern of putting the kids to bed at 8 and then staying up until midnight to catch up on my grading and planning.
The first marking period is half-over, judging by the progress reports I submitted on Friday. I have some changes in my schedule this year: my Honors 11 classes are divided into 3, more manageable sections; my Drama class has become two classes: an intro class for 9th graders (a really fun class of 8 students!) and a general Drama class for 10-12th graders (we're studying Shakespeare in preparation for a field trip to Penn State next week); and, my lunch no longer overlaps with my Biology-teaching runner friend (so much for our daily walks during which we solved all the world's problems!).
I don't want to say this too loudly, but I'm caught up with my grading . . . Until Tuesday night, that is, when I get 37 AP essays to score. My AP class, now in its 4th year, is off to a solid start. Their grades on their first essays (on capital punishment) nearly put them into shock, but they will rebound. Our students are hard-working and bright. In fact, and this is big:
Montoursville High School ranked 6th out of 500 school districts in PA for our 11th grade reading scores on the state assessment last year. We scored remarkably high in writing and math as well.
While the classroom has been running smoothly, the stage has been going well also! I hesitate to choose a large-scale play because of the sheer number of students to manage and schedule. But, when I had roughly 30 girls show up last year for five female roles in last year's play, I knew it was time to do a larger play for our growing program.
The cast and stage managers are eager, self-motivated students who work diligently to prepare the script, the set, the scenery. This is my fifth play at MHS, and it had become what I always envisioned: a student-centered, student-driven collaboration. It is truly rewarding to witness what the fall play has become in such a short time.
As the first month of school comes to a close, I find myself equally blessed and inspired to doing what I love in a school filled with great students.
Life is good!