I think people really underestimate the job of a teacher. Most people think it is all about short hours and summers off. While I am just as happy as my 7th graders to be out of the school building, I am far from off this summer. Basically the next 7 weeks will be dedicated to revamping every aspect of my classroom. As a first year teacher, I found myself to be a failure in many aspects; they say you suck until about year 4 or 5, so I'm on par and not too worried.
1) Organization- I was really lacking in this department. I thought I had everything worked out- as I assume most teachers do- and found that most of my procedures had fallen by the wayside. I only have one class set of books to be shared with 3 classes of students. Although I thought I had made the signing-out procedure clear, I finished the year with three books missing a week after I had located all of them. I have some ideas for aleiviating this next year but still need to work out the kinks.
I started out the year with a class binder, but didn't keep up with it. I found some great suggestions in Fred Jones' Tools for Teaching book and on the blog http://misscalculate.blogger.com/ so I think this will be better next year. I also found some cool templates when I downloaded Microsofts Learning Essentials that should help me be more organized too.
I still need more suggestions for turn-in bins and picking up work, not to mention how spoiled I was with grading last year. I had a TA, and next year I won't which means organization will be the key to my sanity.
2) Classroom Procedures- This is where I am stuck. I really benefitted from having my students do warm-ups last year, but without a TA, I don't know how I'll get them graded along with the classwork I assign. I need to crack down on many of my procedures next year- like book sign-outs, pen/pencil borrowing, and when it is appropriate to ask certain questions (leaving the room, etc.)
3) lesson plans- I need to revamp my units. I got a lot of good suggestions from my high schoolers about what helps them learn, so I just need to find a way to implement these ideas. Not to mention I have to create units for two classes- French 2 and my middle school French/Francophone culture elective. The latter hopefully will be the most fun, but I know it will be the most work, as I am working from scratch and have no text or outline to work from. We'll see how this goes.
As the summer progresses, hopefully, I'll be able to add in some suggestions that I find, and maybe someone will actually start reading this and people will be able to respond with questions and/or suggestions as they see fit.
Now I'm off to my French class, so I don't lose what I rarely use- Grown-up French!