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This report recently released by Scholastic offers some insight to reading attitudes and habits among kids and their parents.  Check it out here.

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Take the time to read what you want!

As we start another school year at Beaverton High, there are the usual things to be excited about:  new students, activities, and changes to our staff and community.  In fact, we have over 20 new staff members this year, and from the latest numbers, we are well over 100 students more than the district projected.  It will definitely take some time to get to know all the new faces around here!

I am most excited, however, for the latest “textbook” adoption that the district thought of for language arts teachers.  Instead of purchasing huge anthology textbooks like it has done in the past, the district decided to promote choice reading by setting up each teacher with a classroom library.  To start the year off, I have almost 200 titles of some of the most popular and interesting novels of the past few years.  To go along with our fantastic school library, the Washington County Cooperative Library System, and bookstores like Powell’s and Amazon, there is no reason not to find a connection with a good book.

Finding the time to read what you want is usually an issue for people.  I am committed this year to incorporate independent reading in all of my classes on a daily basis.  I am also hoping that students and parents will continue this commitment at home.  Check out this article, “7 ways to promote positive reading habits for older children” from The Washington Post for some ideas on establishing and promoting reading at home.

Cheers!

 

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Fifteen years!  Can you believe it?  I sure can’t.  Well, just like the start of the NFL season where every team feels hopeful of its chances to make it to the Super Bowl, the start of the school year brings a similar feeling of optimism.  The 2015-2016 school year feels like a mid-life crisis of sort for my educational career.  Halfway to retirement???  Some guys will go out and get a sports car when they experience a mid-life crisis in their personal life;  for my educational crisis, I went ahead and got a student-teacher from Lewis & Clark College.  His name is Raphe Pond, and I think by mentoring an aspiring teacher, I’ll have time to reflect on the educational process, as well as learning a few things from one of these Millennials.

With that being said, here’s to another great year.  A time of renewal and reflection…

As BHS opens it doors for the new school year, one thing is for certain: change is in the air.  The need for change is sometimes necessary and welcomed by society for a variety of social needs.  Other times, it seems that change is brought about just for the sake of change.  Education, historically, has sure met both of these criteria.  As someone who usually has no problem with change, I have found my flexibility to be an asset when asked to alter my approach to anything that is being modified.  This year, I am hoping that this holds true as the the school district has moved to a mandated standards-based learning system/grading in Language Arts.

What we definitely have in this situation is the “old dog” being taught new tricks.  Personally, I have resisted the change to SBLS for quite some time.  This year, however, the change has been made for me.  The movement to SBLS this year is, without a doubt, my biggest challenge of the year.  I’m sure there will be many moments where I will struggle this year with implementation, and because of that, I have a bit of anxiety before the year has even started.  

What I need from parents, students, and frankly anyone that is affected by what happens in my classroom, is patience.  I feel like I need one of those name tags that you see new employees wearing at restaurants and other businesses that let people know that you are new and being trained, so you know going into your transaction that this person is learning on the fly.  Well, that’s me!

Despite my SBLS anxiety, I am cautiously optimistic that this will still be a great year.  No matter what approach, relationships are still the most important part of education.  That is something that will never change.

Incredible young author!

Posted: October 10, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Incredible young author!

I watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart pretty regularly.  I appreciate the commentary, which I understand is not for everyone.  However, I dare you to not think this 16-year-old girl is extraordinary…

A little late on this post, but I figure better late than never, right?  Last year was one of the hardest ever as an educator.  In fact, along with my first year teaching, it was the hardest ever.  Huge class sizes, Synergy, Common Core and new teacher evaluations are hard to handle alone in most years, yet all of them occurred during the 2012-2013 school year.

After spending the summer recharging the batteries, and taking an awesome road trip to Alaska, it’s back to school.  Some things have changed from last year;  I am teaching Lit & Comp 10 for the first time at BHS, Synergy appears to be better (in theory), Beaver Lodge is making its debut, and there have been some upgrades around campus.  Unfortunately, class sizes will remain an issue, especially in the junior and senior-level classes.  My non-fiction lit. classes are currently around 45 per class.  As a BSD parent, I am glad that much of the levy that the community passed was directed toward elementary schools;  my two sons are at William Walker, enjoying class sizes in the lower twenties!

So, there is much to look forward to this year.  In teaching a new class, there is both excitement in doing something new, while at the same time, there is always the unknown.  Good thing I have great colleagues here at BHS that support each other.  We are committed to help each and every student find the success that Beaverton High offers.  As a community of teachers, students, administrators, parents and the public, we must work together to achieve greatness.  If all parts put forth the effort and resources, we can do anything.  Best of luck to us all, and as always, stay classy Beaverton High School!

ImageImages like this one will be the norm this year.  Forty-Five students in a classroom is something that I have never seen before, nor should it be.  However, like many things in life, you get dealt a hand that is out of your control.  How you handle adversity truly defines who you are as a person.  My main objective as an educator is the form powerful relationships with my students that will, hopefully, allow me to motivate and encourage their success.  The challenge this year:  can you form meaningful relationships with 200 plus students?

I’ll let you know the answer to this question at the end of the school year.  In the meantime, everyone needs to step up their game, which starts with me.  “We’re all in this together” should be the running theme this year.  Communication is key, so, more than any time in your educational career, please advocate for yourself!  Take care, and despite all of the obstacles, have a wonderful year!!!