Defending Learning: The Big Push

It's Saturday morning and I am sitting in my classroom in Union Square waiting for a little more than half of my AP students to descend on my classroom for three hours of portfolio prep.  I picked up bagels and cream cheese, have fortified myself with an egg and cheese wrap, and my coffee awaits in my travel mug.  I am hoping for an epic morning of work.

I returned to work on Wednesday of this last week after a prolonged illness and unanticipated surgery- not once but twice right after new years.  I had a very different vision for what January was going to look like in my classes, but sometimes our bodies make different choices for us.  I was reminded that I do no good for my students if I am not healthy.  While I have had more challenges than many in the last two years, my students are what bring be back again and again.  While at the end of the day Friday, I was exhausted physically, mentally I was feeling better.

Tuesday will kick off the two-day portfolio extravaganza: AP Language and Composition - Defence of Learning.  I have invited mentors as well as teachers to sit in on panels to hear the oral defense and evaluate student arguments.  This is the FIRST time we are trying this as I continue to push forward with the #TTOG Mastery Learning Pilot at AFSE.  I created THIS DOCUMENT to help guide the panel in their participation and feedback for presenters.  Students have been told that professional attire is required and that no, sneakers don't count.  (Though having been to Facebook offices here in NYC, CS crowd tends to dress down.) "But I only own gym clothes, Miss."  It's time for my kids who are 6 months from senior year to Bare Down and Step-Up.

Thinking good thoughts for today and for next week.  It will be a crazy 4 days- then State Common Core English Exam the week after.  Fingers crossed!


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