Readying For Back-To-School

Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand.  ~ Neil Armstrong

Sitting out on the balcony this beautiful late August morning there are so many thoughts running through my head about the upcoming year. Where should I put a bird feeder for the winter? I need to investigate drought-resistant plants for the back slope. How can I excite my students about geologic features? What labs should I do with the chemistry students  - there are so many choices - which will make the most lasting impression? My brain is all over the place.

Heading back to school next week and I am time-frustrated between the opposing needs of prepping for my classes and writing lesson plans. There is, after all, only so many hours to a day and the time commitment of the "plan d'jour" prevents me from actually getting ready for 119 teenagers.

With a zero supply budget and 17 books short, I am also in a quandry about how to spend my personal money for my classes.  Going into my classroom this week I see that none of the repairs on last Spring's repair list were not completed. Where do I spend my personal budget and why I am spending my money on lab materials and class supplies for students whose community is unwilling to contribute? Well, I can at least answer that last why: because the kids deserve to spend their class time productively. We know that long, endless lecturing is not productive.

Friday I went in to my classroom and set up the computer, moved a file cabinet, printed and photocopied course outlines. I put up the rather aged poster that I love (photo above) and thought about how the idea of space travel excited me as a youth. When asked what I wanted to be, I would say "Eco-Master on the Starship Enterprise". I've tried asking students about their future goals and get very vague answers.

My curriculum for the chemistry course is very structured this year. I hope that I can manage to squeeze in a wee bit of excitement and still stay on the prescribed course. I would hate to be one of those teachers that bores the desire to learn out of the children.

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