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  1. #21
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    Wow- that just seems insane! I guess it's necessary up to a point, but seems like tiny rural schools should just recognize that they can't offer all the electives that the big schools can and not try to kill the teachers! Seriously, how much can you accomplish in a 39 minute class??!

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNaoWat? View Post
    Seriously, how much can you accomplish in a 39 minute class??!
    When I was in high school (private, academically challenging school), our class periods were 40 minutes (8 periods a day - 7 plus lunch). We learned quite a bit, a lot more than in the 50-minute periods in the public schools I attended in middle school and 9th grade. If the teacher is good and the students focus and stay on task instead of acting up, you can accomplish a lot. But those are big 'ifs'.

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    Wow, I don't think that a 39 minute class for a 176 school day year wouldn't accumulate enough seat time to give a full Carnegie unit for the subject in high school in our state.

    With "short" periods of 45 minutes, I think that you have to really optimize use of class time -- not a bad thing, but you just can't afford to waste a minute. The people I really feel sad for are those taking and teaching labs -- I can't imagine juggling a lab in 37 minutes.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    The people I really feel sad for are those taking and teaching labs -- I can't imagine juggling a lab in 37 minutes.
    At my high school, the extra lab periods were scheduled either right before or right after the regular class meeting time, so lab was really a double period. This seemed to be the case for everyone in my area - public and private schools. For example, if chem class was normally 2nd period, lab would either be 1st or 3rd period, once or twice a week.

  5. #25

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    At my high school, AP science labs were a double period. It wreaked havoc on scheduling for anyone who was interested in other things, as the overlap usually prevented us from taking an elective.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  6. #26
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    Sorry to change topic, but I just had a conversation on Facebook with the other English teacher from my old school. She told me that a few of my former students were talking about me in class the other day, about how hard I tried, and that they felt that a lot of what they learned from me last year helped them pass their EOIs this year, and that they miss me. I just cried. So much of last year felt like such a huge failure to me, but I guess most of it wasn't. I just never realized how much I'd love my kids. Many of them drove me bananas, but looking back I really loved them. I saw each of them as beautiful and unique and special. Wish I had the opportunity to watch them grow and mature. Oh well. Maybe the next bunch.

    I asked how the girl who replaced me ended up doing, and she said that the girl got her certification and was rehired. The kids hated her at first, because she was so strict, but I told my former co-worker I assumed they grew to respect the new teacher and she said they were neutral about her. I'm sure they just wished she was as easy to push around as I was. SIGH!

    Anyway.

    Carry on with short class period discussion...

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNaoWat? View Post
    Wow- that just seems insane! I guess it's necessary up to a point, but seems like tiny rural schools should just recognize that they can't offer all the electives that the big schools can and not try to kill the teachers! Seriously, how much can you accomplish in a 39 minute class??!
    Actually, studies have found that people can only concentrate for 40 minutes at a time. I teach at a school where we have 40 minute periods - but normally we'll have 2 of them, so 40 mins, 5 minute break, 40 mins. If the students are doing well, we can just continue without the break.

    I teach mainly adults (at a language school) but my second high school had the exact same thing. That said, it was rare just to have 1 lesson - it was normally 2 or 3 consecutively. Sometime we'd have 1, and we wouldn't learn a lot...but it went fast
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by *Jen* View Post
    Actually, studies have found that people can only concentrate for 40 minutes at a time.
    What studies? Who are the people to which you refer? Most studies I have seen on attention span (the amount of time that a person can concentrate on a task without becoming distracted) show it to be highly variable, based on activity, age, environment, emotional state, and interest. Google 'attention span' and it will bring up many different studies. Psychology, books on education, teaching, ADD, ADHD all say the same - challenging to measure because it's incredibly variable (and there are many types of attention).

    5-year olds most certainly can not concentrate on very many things for 40 minutes, though give them a high interest, low pressure task like watching a movie, or role playing and they can concentrate on the activity at hand for hours. Likewise, many adults can concentrate their attention on video games and movies for more than 2 hours.

    Sustained attention is actually considered to be more like 20 minutes for adults or middle or high school children, but again, a school class can easily be an hour or more long, but involve three 20 minutes tasks or activities, even if they are working on the same general principle or target. Many of my young students march around the table, take a bathroom break or bounce a ball 5 times and then can be refocused to the original task. My older students change tasks completely after 20 minutes unless they are on a roll and want to continue. I've found this the same for students with or without special needs or learning difficulties.

    SoNaoWhat? I wish you luck with your next bunch!
    Last edited by Angelskates; 04-24-2010 at 11:50 AM.

  9. #29
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    Well first of all, and I've learned this the hard way: I'd hesitate from walking away from a job after only a year. Adjustment to a new school - any new school is difficult, and that first year is the worst. I moved from a tiny, alternative high school to one of the largest high schools in the city, and THERE they wanted things done THEIR WAY, and HERE they want things done THEIR WAY, and this first year has been one of nonstop adjustment. It's been hard. So I'd say that job-hopping as a rule in your first years of teaching is not a good idea.
    I also think that as a rule, administrators tend to be very hard on first-year, newly hired teachers. So ... wherever you will go, expect scrutiny and maybe even heartache. If you are prepared for all of this and still want to teach, then these hard experiences will give you the strength to become an excellent teacher.

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