Thursday, December 26, 2013

Semester One: Post Mortem I am...on Christmas break and semester one is OVER! Exams have been given, final comments for report cards (except two classes) are finished and two weeks of lessons in January are done.

Today's post is going to be a post-mortem of sorts.  If you are not familiar with a post-mortem it is when you look at something after it has happened to figure out what went well and what didn't go well.  Medically, it's like an autopsy.  So, what went well in semester one and what didn't go well in semester one.  If something went well, can I duplicate it in semester two?  If something did not go well, can I avoid it in semester 2?  So here goes....

What didn't go well:

1. I lost TWO flash drives.  This was a major stressor for me.  The first one was lost during teacher work week and the other was lost sometime later in the second nine-weeks.  My husband tried to fix the problem by giving me a flash drive attached to my lanyard.  This did not work as I lost that flash drive.  My fix: use google docs or dropbox.

2. Missing one week of school due to family deaths.  Yes, I said deaths.  My dear grandmother passed after an illness in October.  The morning of her funeral we found out that my husband's grandfather had passed.  As fellow teachers can attest, you can leave the most fabulous plans but get a cruddy sub and nothing goes as planned.  I had five different subs for those five different days.  My fix: hope no one dies until summer break ( a long time from now).

What could have gone better (okay- adding another category):

1. My Ancient Greece and Rome knowledge.  What? You may ask: you don't know anything about Ancient Greece or Rome?  And I would say: I do now!  During my time at Roanoke College I took Western Civ I & II but then focused my history classes on three areas: Africa, Medieval/Renaissance Italy and Modern Asia.  So....I would like to expand my knowledge for both of these areas.

What went well:

1. Pass rates.  I have 98 students who are passing World History I. However, I have one student that is totally failing.  I have offered tutoring, help with test corrections and contacted howe with little change.  As for the my quarterly assessments and exams: both of those have pass rates in the 90s.

2. Lessons.  I think, for the most part, my lessons are well developed and varied.  I am hoping to keep this momentum up and keep it through the end of the school year.  

I hope I've inspired you to conduct your own post-mortem.

Happy Teaching!

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