I have, to the best of my knowledge, selected the works for my junior English course. I think that the units will account for about 18-24 weeks of instruction just on literature, with some other speech, writing, and (possibly?) research units thrown in to round things out. I’m also leaving some space for added literature to be covered at the end of the year, giving myself some buffer room in case the units I have selected go long (which is not out of the question).

Still working on my novel selection for my semester-long elective course. I really want to teach 1984 since 1) I already have a class set of Animal Farm that I plan to teach, 2) teaching two Orwell novels would be a great way to demonstrate his style, and 3) I’ve already taught 1984 and have plenty of materials and a final project assignment ready to go. We don’t have a class set of 1984, so I’d have to try and obtain it, which might be tricky since I don’t know how readily funds for new books will come. There’s a possibility, though, that I might have until next semester to get them since (as far as I know – which isn’t as much as I should, sadly) the novels course is taught 2nd semester. I hope.

Also just finished The Crucible and The Great Gatsby (since I’m a horrible literature aficionado for not having read them before), both of which I enjoyed immensely. Next on deck as far as canonical novels that I will probably teach for this novels elective: Farewell to Arms (oh, Hemingway, how I adore thee: let me count the ways…) and A Separate Peace, which I hope is decent.

Additionally, I would really like to teach a YA novel for this elective course, but I don’t know if I’m pushing my luck even trying to get 1984, and I definitely put a higher priority on that than a YA novel especially since I don’t know which one I would teach. The Catcher in the Rye (is that even properly a YA book since it’s in the canon?), Whirligig by Paul Fleischman, and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (ooh, a graphic novel, how scandalous for a novels course!) are all books that I’ve considered that wouldn’t really be contentious (okay, Catcher might be a little contentious) and that I could possibly ask for a class set of one of them. I don’t know yet. (Leave comments with advice, si vous plait.)

I’m working on my sophomore lit selections now. I have a feeling that I will probably do fewer works of literature with the sophomores and maybe incorporate more research, critical reading, and writing activities to try and get those skills honed before they become juniors and start freaking out about ACTs.

Still left: senior English (yay for more writing and world lit) and the writing elective. Teaching creative writing is quite possibly going to be the strangest part for me to get figured out.

Can you (my ever-observant reader) tell that I’m starting to get a little panicked? (Critical reading exercise: Note three elements of this blog entry that indicate fear and mental breakdown. ) The school year is drawing nigh, and I don’t feel as confident as I should. Starting to finish up the junior course leaves me hopeful, but not as much as I’d like. (I will accept encouraging comments below as well.)

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