Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Totally Deserved It.

So, yesterday I posted about a big announcement for next week, but I didn't want to jump on it prematurely in case things happen as they always do and it doesn't pan out. The plans are still in the works, but I should have known better to keep surprises secret because that's a sure-fire way to get surprises sprung on you.

So, I deserved it, and I got bit.

I walked into first period just after the bell today and my team teacher told me my admin. was looking for me. I went to his office, propped my arms on the back of his guest chairs. He asked and I answered a question about graduation. When I turned to leave he said, "Sit down."

Translation: Not good.

I panic, start sweating, shaking and doing the general run through of the past week to see what parent might have complained about what and then he issued a bit of a snicker/laugh and glanced down as if he found the situation humorous. I'm in deep panic mode by the way, "SPIT IT OUT!" I wanted to say. Instead I just sighed a "What did I do?"

This time, I didn't do anything. It's what they need me to do. He told me that next year they'd need me to pick up a section of Social Studies. WHAT!? I've taught Language Arts for 14 yrs. It's a little known secret that I'm also Social Studies certified as well, but haven't touched the material for any S.S. since.

I asked to be excused to go throw up. He said it wasn't as bad as I thought. Wasn't bad!? S.S. could include anything from Geography to US History to Poly Sci, to Econ, to World History, to Psychology or Sociology. My mind started rolling. True, I haven't had to plan for a new curriculum in about 10 yrs, but I could do this. Bet. Bring it. I still have my college notes and I can brush up on these with no problems. No problem...right?

And then he said, "You'll be taking the Law and Contemporary Issues split-semester classes." WHAT!? Law and Contemporary Issues? I don't know anything about Law let alone how to teach Contemporary Issues. I took calming breaths and asked if I could see the textbooks and curriculum and wouldn't you know it - they're electives. There is no true curriculum.


Translation: I'm a dead woman.

I asked if the deal came with a gift certificate to a liquor store. Sadly, no. It does not.

So, sports fans, the lesson here is - if you promise yet withhold others a surprise it will come back and bite you in the ass.

Touche, dear friends. Touche, indeed.

The morning will come early because I'm going to be worried all night and it will as well for the entire summer for I've got a curriculum to create. Sweet Social Studies dreams.

P.S. Seriously? Law and Contemporary Issues!? John, if you still come around here, you better have those bloody marys ready.

P.P.S - not sure if those squash and zucchini I hand polinated yesterday afternoon are going to make it, but the squash is covered in striped cucumber beetles. What's up with that!? Don't they understand I've got enough to worry about?


  1. Oh don't worry about it. If law was hard there wouldn't be so many lawyers...seriously!! It's really quite easy, I know.

  2. Robin, your right. The more I think about it, the more I know I can beast this. It's just going to take a lot of planning so it doesn't blow up in my face. If those kids see an inch of weakness or uncertainty, I'm a goner.

  3. Rent a copy of The Paper Chase, and start channeling John Houseman.

  4. No stress.....this happened with me in the beginning of my career....I'm a Spanish teacher who had an elective of music in my background. It could be quite fun. I know it's never what we think....but it sounds like an interesting challenge:)

  5. I'm sure you'll do great; you're a smart cookie! Plus, if it's an elective, hopefully they'll be students who want to be there. Maybe that will help.

  6. Steal from the best planners you know. Seriously.

  7. No biggie, just take things slow and it'll be alright.

  8. Oh, Ribbit! I once said I could teach a course about sports...and then bam! Suddenly I had to create a syllabus for a class with no curriculum whatsoever. It was hard (there isn't exactly a textbook), but it was also the highlight of my teaching career to this point. Take Stefaneer's advice: steal from the best. Spend an afternoon at a large library (an academic one would be the best), looking through big, general books on modern law. Start lists on topics you'd like to cover. If you can find specialized books on those topics, keep them on the list. Continue gathering materials and the class will begin to take on a form. You can do it!

  9. And a quick p.s. Do some searching around for college syllabi. This sounds more like a college than a high school class to me. Many college professors post their syllabi online and it might be really helpful to see how they organize their courses, which readings they assigned, etc.

  10. OMG - LOL! I would have been horror stricken too :) Now breathe deeply, and remember they are teenagers, not grad school students, you'll be FINE! Go get 'em!

  11. Y'all have some great advice. Thank you!! CM, my girlfriend teaches an environmental law class at a local college, so she'll help with that unit and the one about the environment during the Cont Isuues . I love the idea about finding syllabi for things to discuss.

    The law class has a textbook, but not the Cont Iss. That one is going to be fun to plan, but terrible to get materials for. I'm also thinking to get them to read a modern biography/autobiography. You can take the girl out of the English class, but not the class out of the English girl.