Saturday, August 18, 2012

Course Syllabus

My first class at my new school begins at 7:40am this coming Tuesday. My very first opportunity to work in my classroom will be 3pm-7pm this coming Monday. Not even kidding. Due to some repair work being completed in the gym (right around the corner from my room), my classroom was sealed off this week, with all sorts of tubes and machinery and zippered plastic walls blocking it. It actually looked a lot like the house in ET after it was taken over. On the one hand, I really enjoy that analogy (I wish I had pictures!). On the other hand, this creates an enormous challenge.

But what can you do? Moving on, I'm focusing all of my effort on the things that I can accomplish at home. One thing that I'm really happy with is a revamping of my course syllabus/expectations to make it more "junior high" friendly. I must admit, it was pretty terrific to only have to create a syllabus for one prep, rather than four or five like usual. Here's what I created.

The one I used last year was a little text-dense - fine for high school, a little too much for the junior high attention span. It covers class content, materials, and my classroom management plan. Also, a page for parents to sign and include contact information, which we all know usually comes in handy at some point (amazing how often the phone numbers in the student data management system are incorrect, isn't it?). It's a lot of information to include in one document, but you know you've got to cover all your bases at the beginning of the year or face CHAOS. And chaos in a classroom with knives, fire, scissors and needles is a bad, bad thing.

Speaking of knives, fire, scissors and needles, at the beginning of both the sewing and foods units I do have an additional document with rules/procedures specific to those areas. I'm sure you'll find them on here eventually.

Good luck with preparing your classrooms!

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