Saturday, November 20, 2010
Inherit the wind
The teacher who was in my classroom - and had my job - previously left a boatload of worksheets, notes, and lesson plans behind upon her exit from the school. Several rumors swirl around her - including the one about her hating the school about as much as I hate ants. Which is to say, a lot. It sounds like she wasn't that fond of the teaching profession anyway, and I guess it was best for all parties involved that she left it.
In any case, I've been trying to make heads or tails out of the crap she left behind. Most of it is, seriously, crap. Her lesson notes are presented in a way that I don't like (small, dense print, many words, few visuals). She made WAY too many copies for some reason, and had kept all the leftovers. And it was all jumbled together pretty messily.
I spent the first two weeks after I got the keys to my classroom sifting through all the papers. Managed to get through the first two chapters' worth of material for both Algebra 1 and Algebra Readiness, but since then I've basically done nothing about it except have students punch holes in the remaining papers and put them in binders.
Thus, I took home all the binders yesterday when I locked up my classroom and happily waved good-bye to the school for an entire nine days. So far, in my 28th hour of this week-long freedom, I've spent four of them trying to make sense of the contents of these binders. The other 24 were spent doing one of three things: sleeping, eating, and watching tv online. I've whittled through them quite quickly, considering the volume, and remembering how long it took to organize those two chapters at the beginning of the school year. But by this time, I had figured out already what I wanted to keep and what looked like kindling for fireplaces.
It also helps that the other Algebra Readiness teacher gave me a complete digital copy of her Algebra Readiness notes spanning the entire book - and then some. She even has CST review all set up. She is awesome.
I was thinking of lugging the binders back home-home with me too but decided against it. If I really feel like working on them, I can just go back to my apartment and spend a day there. I don't want to lug something home-home only to lug it back out again later. Really a waste of time and energy.
Long story short: I like inheriting stuff from other teachers only when it's useful to me. When it's just a load of crap, I would prefer that you didn't bother. 'k? Thanks.