School's out for the Summer!

And just like that, the first year at St. Vincent Pallotti High School has drawn to a close. This has been finals week so all I needed to do was proctor three exams and grade the tests my five classes took. I have until Tuesday to lock the grades and will do that today or tomorrow as the final round of student issues hit my inbox.Overall, it was a good year. There were many adjustments to be made, starting with getting into the rhythms of a new school. I was constantly adjusting my planning, shifting from block schedule lessons to 43-minute lessons and then revising further as just about every week had at least one modified schedule to allow for monthly masses, class competitions, assemblies, and the like. If anything, that proved the most challenging aspect throughout the year. Next year, we’re tweaking the schedule so I gain back a few minutes per class, which should help.The sophomores were challenging, very similar to the same classroom management challenges I had at Owings Mills High, and once again, I was reminded that I needed to be steelier, meting out more detentions, calls/emails home, etc. I was very fortunate to have the unwavering support of our Dean of Students.My two Honors Juniors classes were far better behaved and more stimulating. One was certainly more fun to work because the other was too chatty and fractured. I don’t often play favorites but oh word, this one class was a regular sanity savior. I shall miss our chats (both on topic and digressive).The one thing that didn’t work at all was a school newspaper as a club. We’re a small school so everyone belongs to multiple extracurricular activities so our work was in fits and starts. We managed all of one issue of content then struggled to find the right format for layout and release. It was more frustrating to them and me than helpful to the school. Lessons learned.I certainly have gotten to know the faculty better now that I was really one of them, rather than the regular sub they chatted with during lunch. My mentor teacher was always there to answer questions, no matter how dumb, and wrote up a good observation.There were certainly bumps in the road, mistakes made, and more lessons learned. Planning for next year is ongoing so I await my final schedule but am excited at the possibilities of some new courses to mix in. But for now, it’s time to recuperate and mentally regroup.