Here Comes Fall Semester!

Last week, Dana shared with readers her fall preview — yes, the summer’s over, the cheap crayons and notebook paper are looking picked-over at the store, and the tax free holiday is behind us. Time for my Fall Preview, too.

Today’s the first day of pre-planning for teachers at my school. (Aside: My mother, also a teacher, used to wonder how anyone can pre-plan — shouldn’t we just call it planning?) My schedule, ecclectic as ever, sees me moving more toward the math and science teacher role and away from computer teaching. Case in point: this year, I spend three hours per day teaching outside the computer lab. Here’s a look at my schedule:

  • Geometry: Of all the maths out there, geometry has a special place in my heart. I hope it sparks with my class, as well. We’re going to have fun with this class and will be blogging about it over at Axiomatics.
  • Trigonometry & Precalculus: This should be interesting — in a good way! I wasn’t expecting to teach this class but was kindly offered it last week. I have a good textbook, a fairly small class (6 to 8 students), and a few ideas on this junior/senior level math course.
  • Physics: I can’t wait to start teaching the superhero physics that I’ve been looking forward to all summer! I’ll also be restarting the Chrysalis Physics Blog after a 1-year hiatus during which I didn’t teach physics.
  • Computer Science: I’ll primarily be teaching Python programming because it’s open source, free, has been called “friendly” and easy to learn, and integrates well with the web.
  • Publishing: This class publishes the school’s yearbook. In addition, interested students create a book of poetry and a school newspaper. If memory serves, this is my 3rd year teaching this course, which is my longest-running class.

Georgia State

I completed my second of (hopefully!) 4 semesters a few days before reporting back to work. The program is crazy-intense but I loved most moments of the summer semester. This fall, I have 4 classes: two on teaching math, one on the psychology of learners, and a statistics class.

My teammate in the program teaches in Newton County. The two of us were paired because we’re both established teachers. While many of our cohort-mates gear up for a 6-week student teaching experience this fall, Adrienne and I are planning lessons we’ll teach in our own classrooms. Given that the state offers a 5 year non-renewable certificate, my advice to aspiring teachers is to get a job and start a Masters program after a year of teaching. Not only will you get paid while student teaching but the in-the-trenches experience makes the program incredibly valuable.