Meanwhile, Back at the Edu-Mountain…
However, the Stealth Parking situation is quite actually the largest scale problem that I have.
I went to the first meeting with my new team. They are very young, but with that very, very enthusiastic. They are full of ideas, and very energetic. It’s a very good thing to be around, in terms of the creative process. We got more done in a three hour sit down, toward real curriculum development for the school year than in the last ten to twenty English Department meetings I have been in. The proof is in the pudding…I drew the artwork above afterward, instead of during the meeting.
Upon my arrival I was instantly issued a new iPad. The level of organization at the school site was pretty impressive. Beside the immediate ability to get me that asset, during the meeting, any books that I mentioned for use during first semester were simply provided. I don’t mean “ordered”…I mean a VP got up, and came back with a copy of the text for each of the teachers in the room. Within minutes. All of this was to prevent having any material obstacles to the design of the work.
The entire curriculum is novel driven, with interludes of short work between them. That in itself is very interesting, and the big contribution that I brought to that for semester one was “Persepolis” a graphic novel that the school has numerous copies of. It seemed to link thematically to the ideas of identity and youth that the first novel did, and the multi class publishing project for “Persepolis” seemed to capture the imaginations of everyone there. Now…let’s see me pull that off, since I have simply never done a project of that type and scope.
Ironically, it was partially inspired by the VP at the school I’m leaving, who was just caught up in change himself. When that gentleman became aware of Adequacy, he showed me the student published graphic novels from his old high school. It was an engaging concept, that just couldn’t be done (in my opinion) in Middle School. Now…I sat in a meeting and proposed it.
All told, the people I met were friendly and engaging. The campus is beautiful, and except for the absence of a teachers’ lounge for kibbitzing, I have yet to find a small flaw. That’s good…early on, you shouldn’t.
Still…today was a discussion of actually teaching real literature. It has been a long time since I even discussed real literature analysis, or instruction, let alone actually done it. The planning session alone was an ecstasy of ideas, a sharing of concepts that I haven’t had the opportunity to do in some time. It’s my goal to maintain that momentum, to keep the good parts moving forward.
With selections for the year including “Persepolis,” “Catcher in the Rye,” and “Julius Caesar” I don’t see maintaining enthusiasm as all that hard. Fingers are crossed.