Saturday, May 07, 2011

Decisions, again!

They are relentless! Always decisions have to be made . . . what to fix for dinner, when to schedule a test, how to effectively teach a difficult topic, where to go on vacation, and the whys, . . . well, we always have whiney-why questions.

Monday is the requested due date for our textbook list for next year. This decision couldn't come at a better time because when you are in the midst of the end of months of academics, what has been successful is easy to judge, and what has not, is easy to throw out. On the other hand, the timing of this decision couldn't be worse: you are trying to finish and wrap up material, trying to squeeze in the one bit the students need and you've not covered, making decisions about academic awards, planning the end-of-year subject test, etc., etc.

I've been thinking for several months now about texts for next year, and I've accumulated some unsightly mounds of books
to review as possibilities. My current classes will not change material except to add a regular book for vocabulary. That part is not hard. But next year, I will take on a ninth grade ancient history class and an upper school US history class. Both of those classes will be new from the ground up: the school has never had an ancient history class, though I've taught ancients before, and the US history will be completely revamped.

I have made a decision about the main texts for these classes and am very comfortable with those. But a few support materials need to be detailed for that textboo
k list due Monday, and that will take awhile to compile. Plus, I plan to include in the curriculum several literature selections to integrate with the history. THOSE are the indecisive parts of the puzzle that I've not figured out.

Originally, I thought I would read one book a quarter, for a total of four. In reality, I wonder if I will be able to do this the first year with these new classes. For ancient history, I would like to read something Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey, and something Roman. For US history, I'm really at a loss -- so much good stuff, but still no idea.

On top of all this, I hav
e scope and sequence to coordinate. This coming year's topics will be English and history. I pretty much know where I'm going with all this, but it will be incredibly time-consuming. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained!

So, onward, over, and conquer!

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