Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Preparing to Move

For the last 9 years, I have called Chicago home. Much of that time has been spent on either Dearborn or Diversey, two streets with plenty of activity, easily accessible to public transit and also near enough to Lake Michigan so that I can go for a bike ride, run or play volleyball without using distance as an excuse to avoid such enjoyable forms of exercise!

Soon I will be moving to Champaign and a stylish, apartment community. While it is near many chain restaurants and the highway, I will miss the ability to walk or jump on a bus or train to get somewhere. I am glad I am not a shopper.

There are a lot of good things about moving. For one thing, moving gives each person who prepares to unroot themselves a chance to sift through the belongings they've collected since their previous move. I've been in my current apartment for just under a year and just when I thought there wasn't much I've accumulated - I have proven myself wrong! My countdown is on with a few days left to pack. I've got a class all week next week, work the week after and then a final week-long class before I move. This Independence week is about freeing up my rush to pack the weekend before I move!

Papers are going to be my packing nightmare this time around. I've been a substitute for the last two years and have collected an enormous amount of paperwork from the teachers and classrooms I've worked in thinking, "someday I could use this idea." I'm now setting about organizing many of these pages into notebooks and files that can easily be plucked some unspecified moment in the future. I'm a planner and I can also tend to be a packrat, so I'm making the most of this move to reorganize and simplify my lesson plans and ideas. 

Speaking of ideas, I've begun planning my lessons and calendar for the 2009-2010 school year. I'm going to be teaching cooperative education and business law. I've plotted out the calendar for 2 months for 2 of my 3 courses, which is a huge weight off my shoulders. Now I just need to fill in those lesson ideas with concrete examples. 

My current favorite new idea is to allow students in the Co-Op classes pick a job that teenagers work and a job that adults work that could be used as examples throughout the school year. It should give them a chance to pick a part of the curriculum and something they can hopefully feel ownership of as these examples come up with each new concept. 

For now, the 6 boxes I've packed need to be joined by a few others. I've got to get busy! Till my next entry,