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The first day of school is in just over a week, and I feel completely unprepared. The school I'm teaching at is an alternative high school, so pretty much every thing that the district says the rest of the schools have to do goes nearly out the window for us. I was hoping that there would be some sort of curriculum set up for 10th grade English, but when I asked about what texts they use in the classroom, the response I received blew my mind: "We don't really use texts." How the H E Double Hockey Sticks am I supposed to teach English without texts? But then I'm told that I can pretty much do what ever I want to do within professional reason, but since these students have already failed English once, I'll need to find another way to get them to reach their fullest potential. I asked if I could take a look at the text book, and I'm told "We don't really use the text book, but you can use it if you want."
So now I have two huge Holt books with a ton of information, but I'm wavering as to whether or not I should use it, least I be looked at strangely by my colleagues. Fortunately, workshop starts on Monday, so I should be able to have an opportunity to talk with the teacher who taught 10th grade last year, and see how she went about teaching, and what she would have changed. I'm used to the regular school setting where there is an outline of what I need to teach and the desired outcomes, and I'm just in charge of getting the students there in my own way. I like structure, and all of this freedom is nearly killing me with stress!
Please keep your fingers crossed for me as I try to survive my first few months before I really get the hang of it...