School resumes today for a half-day + teacher inservice. I’ll only see about half of my students today (our half-days alternate between the first and last four periods of the day), most of whom should be turning in book projects that I gave an extended deadline on (they were originally due back in December, and I had mercy). The rest will be turning their projects in when I see them tomorrow, which means a lot of grading this week to be ready to post grades by next week, since our semester ends this week.

I’m hopeful, though, that I can get somewhat of a fresh start. I intend on backing up and trying to do some things differently that I should have done at the beginning of the year. One such thing is to rethink my process for discipline, from giving students input into what should be expected of them to how I handle repeated behaviors (and now I’m thinking more in terms of disciplinary contracts). I am also going to try and be more organized, including with my class webpages that I set up at the beginning of the year (none of which are even close to being up-to-date).

I have goals, and that’s a good first step. Let’s hope the next several days show evidence of doing something to meet them.

Teachers, how do you approach a new semester or the second half of the year (after break)? Any ideas that have worked for you?