I'm not sure who was more horrified.
I've not taught 10th graders at this school but I do regularly teach 11th graders, and I know what sorts of skills they need to succeed in Junior-year U.S. History. So I started at that assumption and made it my challenge to get my Sophomores fluent in the construction of sound analytical arguments. I also wanted them to adjust to the idea that expectations are the foundation of a successful education, in History and every other subject.
The group is coming along nicely and I enjoy having them in my classroom, which is a good thing. But a new-to-me-class with material I've not taught for more than ten years is a challenge. I spent part of my Spring Break getting a plan for the class together. I like to be two weeks ahead when preparing a new course, but for now that's an impossible goal. After all, I still have four other classes to teach (not to mention a 120-student study hall to wrangle). I have had to accept the fact that I can only prepare lessons and assignments for a week in advance.
There are some good things about the group…I am reminded how much I love to think through a new class, how much students love structure and the sense of accomplishment from mastering ideas, and how far good will and genuine enthusiasm for the subject can take a teacher. So there is an upside to this change in my school year, even if I sometimes feel I am just barely holding my head above water, counting the days until summer break.