We're a few weeks into the school year, and I admit, I'm not entirely teaching as I'd like to.
I'm not teaching badly (I don't think), but I'm doing things pretty traditionally. The circumstances added up.
I didn't find out exactly what I was teaching until just before school started.
We don't have textbooks yet (supposed to finally arrive this week).
My classes average 38 students each.
More importantly, due to the way our math lab classes for struggling students work, the other 9th grade teacher and I need to stay in lock-step with each other. The same sections covered on the same day, the same homework assignments given.
I'm still free to teach the material any way I want to. But there's no time for that kind of planning. Not with all the grading that has to be done. And not with counselors still letting students transfer from one teacher to the other.
In the end, though, I feel like I'm making excuses. I could spend every hour outside of school developing my own curriculum (or at least modifying the one I've been given). But what about writer-me? What about having free time to keep my sanity intact?
Selfishness or self-preservation? Maybe a little of both.
Despite these reservations, I think I'm off to a good start this year. A few things need tweaks and adjustments. The kids are learning, regardless of how I feel about the style of instruction.
I'll see what I can do moving forward, and if nothing else, make sure I'm ready to tackle next year more thoroughly.