Sunday, August 16, 2009

First Week Successes

The first week of school went smoothly -- of course, we only had students on Friday and then only freshmen for their orientation day. Still, I'm heaving a sigh that many things were accomplished:

Juniors and seniors were in the building to provide most of the interaction with the freshmen on Friday; they trained for three days prior to meeting the incoming students. That meant we had students around and about and with them came their brothers and sisters, which for me meant that one of my senior boys was available and willing to help me set up my room. All the heavy labor -- and there was a lot of it -- was done by him. I'm forever grateful!

  • My room looks nice. My kid did a herculean job of moving furniture and desks. We got everything out of storage and set back up and while I orchestrated, he pushed and shoved. We even have a reading corner in the room this year. The frig is cleaned, turned on and chilling and my boy even got the clock set on the microwave.

  • My SPED presentation on Tuesday to the entire secondary SPED staff went well. I managed to be brief and sound intelligent at the same time.

  • I worked with the English department at my school but avoided the all-district English meeting and hopefully can avoid them in the future. I'm trying to align myself with the reading crew for all-district meetings.

  • I tried making "nice-nice" with the English coordinator because it seems he has gone to the district level to complain about my teaching an English class. Luckily my SPED coordinator is always in my corner but this means I'll have to tread with diplomacy and tact throughout the year with the English teachers. I think my plans for matching their benchmarking have so far been successful. When I presented them at their meeting and gave a copy to the Instructional Coordinator (IC) they reported back to my coordinator that they were very "happy and impressed" with our current level of cooperation. This means, of course, that I'll have to be willing to meet with them often and put on a positive face, and honestly, I'm not much of a bridge-builder, but in this cause I'll try my best.

  • I have a plan for the first day of school. Admittedly I don't have a plan for day #2 but partly that's because I have no clue what this new group of students is going to be like. I need to get a feel for them because the class roster shows I've got 14 boys in a class of 20 -- and that's way, way different from the make-up of the class from last year which was mostly girls.

  • I have 18 regular student desks in my room, but I've got a plan to have my favorite seniors sit around my back table in wooden chairs. I think (hope) they can cope.

  • Hubby provided breakfast for the NEA folks -- and it was beyond delicious: just scrambled eggs topped with smoky links but all hot and bubbly and tasty. During the meeting it was announced that our salaries are frozen for the year but we were grateful not to be taking a cut in pay.

  • My collaborative teacher is pleased we are working together again, as am I. We have an easy time of making our second block class work well.

  • My SPED team is, as always, my home base and my grounding in the school. I'm so tickled to be working with them.

Monday the entire school arrives. We've had over 1300 students enroll and that is about 250 more than planned for by the district. Classes will be over-flowing. We have many new first year teachers in our building. I imagine they won't sleep very well tonight. We will cope, though. We are urban-core teachers -- we ARE invincible!


Margaret said...

250 more? That's a huge number; I hope they'll adjust staffing. It sounds like everything has gone well and that you're ready to go. By the way, that class of mostly boys...good luck. I've had that situation in regular ed and it's NOT MUCH FUN.

Donna said...

I admire your courage and grit.