To say that AP Lang got off to a rocky start this year would be an understatement. After a brutal summer assignment that deterred most students and scared off several more, the shock of the workload was enough to shake the confidence of many of my students. There were several months in the beginning that were incredibly difficult--both for my students and myself. I'm happy to say that we hit a turning point around Thanksgiving, and it has been nearly smooth sailing. Motivation for students was low at some points, but anyone could attest that I poured my heart and soul into that class, and I know that they did the same on the exam.
I spent the majority of my first year teaching writing KTIP lesson plans, completing KTIP forms, and filling out any other type of KTIP paperwork that could be imagined. It felt as though I all that I was doing was justifying my choices and reflecting on those choices, but it was worth it in the end when I passed! I'm sure I killed several trees in the process based on how thick my KTIP binder was, but I'm just glad that it's over!
Grammar instruction is typically seen as something that most English teachers dread, but that is not the case for me. I was introduced to the concept of DGP while I was student teaching during the fall semester of 2015, and I knew then that it would be a significant factor in my classroom. I contribute my students' success on the English and Reading Sections of the ACT this year to their completion of this Daily Grammar Practice program.
The best non-academic thing that has happened to me (hands down, by far, forever) this year was getting engaged! My wedding website is still very much a work in progress, but that's also very indicative of my first year in the classroom. While it has been difficult trying to plan a wedding and survive my KTIP year, I wouldn't trade it if I had the chance. I've been able to prove to myself that I can balance teaching four different classes and planning a wedding (however slowly), which should make next year seem like a breeze in comparison!
I've been looking at this paint color since the middle of the summer. It took me three days to paint my classroom, and I spent even more time doing touch ups over Christmas break. This color has been very important to me throughout the course of the year because it has served as the backdrop for everything that has happened in my classroom--both good and bad.