This is my second year teaching. During my first year, I divided up the semester into four parts. I assigned a bundle of assignments into one module, making four modules for the semester. These modules were full of work that each student would struggle to finish. As a new teacher, I felt that I needed to basically work my kids to death. I didn't know when or if anyone of authority would stop by for a visit. The teacher who was in my position before was "retired in place". The word on the street was she was constantly in the hot seat because of her lack of ability or desire to teach. So I took it to the opposite end and was a drill Sargent.
This year, I have relaxed a bit. Even though my program did increase in size after last year, I want to have a pleasant work environment in which my students can succeed. With the counsel of fellow teachers, I feel that I have lightened up a bit, but not enough to lose control of the class or the program. Since I've done this, I feel less stressed. I no longer feel like someone is over my shoulder critiquing every move I make.
I have settled into my position and will continue next semester to design lessons and projects which incorporate more fun into the class. I have moved from four project modules, to many smaller projects. Both the students and myself benefit from this strategy. We are not only working on computer based projects, we are up completing group activities and hands on learning. NTI has expanded my views and helped me to work with a variety of instructional strategies.