Today, the English department is taking over 120 students to go and see this today:
I’ve heard mixed reviews, but I’m going in with an open mind. I loved the 1996 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and did not feel as though anything was lost on the creative freedom that was taken. I am bringing a handful of 9th grade Honors students with us, but we have not read the novel as a class. I provided them with a plethora of background information and pleas to read the book.
Hopefully they will enjoy it as well. My review of the film to follow, although how can you go wrong with this guy:
What does any normal teacher do with an afternoon free, three weeks before the end of the school year? They research for next year, of course.
Anyways, I want to be sure that I completely understand the expectations of the Common Core State Standards for 9th grade ELA, so I began my search by looking up “ways to kill myself with paperwork” “common core ela 9th grade.” I was blessed with the best resource: the Live Binder for the ELA Common Core State Standards Resource Binder. If you are a teacher of any grade level, ELA or not, this would be an amazing resource for you to look through. It contains information and resources that pertain to other grade levels and subjects than 9th grade ELA.
I took many many screen shots, and I will display them here in an effort to keep myself organized and represent the resources effectively.
Set One: Focus on Text Complexity and Deeper Meaning
I’m in a melancholy mood right now. I am putting together/organizing my unit materials for my two English classes as I have about two months worth of materials that I could have utilized, but with a condescend amount of time to present my lessons in, I was not able to use it all. I’ve been slashing certain activities, replacing materials with updated and improved versions, and it makes me eager for next year. But as soon as I start to reflect on my daily lessons and make notes for next year, I realize that I will be missing my current students. I’ve noticed changes in them; maturity where there once lived fart jokes and purposeful derailments of my attention in order to delay the inevitable: the test. This will be my seventh school year culmination, and the pages of the calendar flip by more and more quickly. I’m proud of my students and the work that we have completed together. This morning as I was demonstrating the five types of love found in Romeo and Juliet, I noticed how my students hung onto my every word, copied down notes without being reminded of the format. This seems like something that should be expected, but that’s a qualifier created by someone who has never been an instructor for more than a brief presentation. To someone who sees teaching as a job and not a lifestyle, they don’t realize that in order for me to perform my duties, I must have buy in from the students. They must see the value in what we are doing. The simple act of listening and participating in a productive manner tells me that we have come together as a team, we have gone through a journey with struggles, growth, and appreciation for one another. I am proud of that journey.
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Two Hours & a Manicure Later
Yowza! What a sap!
But it’s all true and I am proud of my students. I wish all teachers could feel this way. I wish that I could feel this way at least twice a week. I suppose what brought on the above rant was that today marked the day before a teacher is going to leave our school because of the offer of a desk job. I don’t blame this teacher; you have to do what is best for you and your family. I believe that any teacher who doesn’t feel a deeply imbedded passion for teaching and giving of yourself to your profession should find another path. I thank this particular teacher for leaving and opening a space for someone who is more worthy of working with our students. Without giving away her situation too much, you should also know that I am glad to see her leave because her negativity was spreading like a cancer to our students; very much like a terminal disease, this particular teacher is attacking at our weakest and most valued resource: our students. Intentionally passing along private information, things that no child should hear about the behind-the-ugly-scenes of a teacher terminating her employment and the PR nightmare that can be, this teacher…no, this woman is tearing down what the other members of our team have worked so hard to create. So thank you for your time, but thank you even more for your departure.