I guess it's is all about reflection, something I think many of us do on a continuing basis. How did this assignment go? Did it accomplish what I planned? If not, what do I need to do? Do I tweak or start from scratch? How did they respond to the selection of books? Which ones resonated? Should I drop one and replace it with another? Which should replace the dropped one? So many questions.
This is what keeps me coming back for all those first days. I make changes and see what happens. I let students help me tweak or drop and replace. I offer more choice than ever before. It sort of disproves the old adage that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. This aging canine is still learning. So, while I have the basics in place, there are some things that have to wait for the students. I am amazed sometimes at what they will suggest. It generally leads me to learn something new, to try something different.
So, as I prepare for this 28th year of YA literature, I think of the standards (yes, we still have mandated things at the university level) but I think more about the students. What changes can I put into place to make this year a year of firsts for both them and me.