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Another school year has begun and it’s shaping into a year unlike any other. I’ve started teaching a grade 12, Adventure Co-op that I designed for my school. Students involved in the co-op will complete three courses this semester – Communications/English 12, Work Experience 12, and PE 12 – which is an outdoor, hiking course. The co-op draws on and implements a number of key professional paradigm shifts that I’ve experienced as a teacher over the past year. Some of these shifts include teaching for mastery, empowering students through authentic assessment, infusing the curriculum with meaningful material, and a whole host of other ideas that add to the tapestry of this new program. It’s exciting and daunting and certainly not without substantial challenges. Despite the challenges and mountains of work I’ve given myself, I feel more alive as a teacher than I have for years. This being said, it’s only been a week – we’ll have to see where I’m at after a month goes by!