Just returned from 2+ weeks with my family celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary on and off a Mediterranean cruise.  Still on Euro-time, I’m up and at ’em early (for me) and tired by 8pm.  As a World Language teacher, I was like a happy pig in the mud exploring France, Italy and Spain with my children!  Practicing all those languages (don’t forget Catalan…), made me realize more than ever how relevant teaching our students to function in a language in addition to English is, and I’m ready to get back to it this year!

A few notable developments this summer:

  • found out in July that I have been reassigned to a different school/grade-level.  I had been slated to teach 5 classes of French FT at our HS.  I was told that I will now be teaching 8 classes of French and Spanish at our MS.  So ironic, because I had previously requested a transfer there a few times over the years.  Both schools are positive places for sure, but I confess I was looking forward to teaching my HS students in all one language and not keeping so many plates spinning at one time.  I am also involved in the HS community, which I will maintain: co-leading next year’s Europe trip, co-advising One Acts and World Language Honor Society as well as HS French Club.  But I’ve taught MS French & Spanish before (and I split my time last year at this MS) so it’s familiar territory–plus I really like MS students.  So…wouldn’t have requested this move, but I am glad it is to an equally friendly school.
  • read a few “regular” books and a few “teacher” books (the aforementioned Unshakable by Angela Watson, Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess), and am energized!

I have 2 1/2 more days to set up my new classroom.  I am currently pondering desk arrangements for Middle School World Language classes.  I am pinning like crazy:

…to name a few.  I want to reduce distraction as much as possible yet encourage collaboration and on-task conversation as much as possible.  Will experiment in my classroom until I hit on something my 8 classes ranging from 15-28 students and I can live with.  Suggestions are welcome!