Monday, August 31, 2009
The first week of school was a definite trip. It was the first time that I had ever been in a classroom full time (not counting substitute teaching of course). Having 25 students from 8:00 to 3:00 was crazy. I was dead tired and my voice was struggling. Unfortunately, the last few weeks have been primarily rule and procedure driven so I have been doing most of the talking. Although, Wednesday of the first week I started introducing my makeshift curriculum and having my students participates in my informal diagnostics.
This week, week three, it is my goal to get my students absolutely perfect (even though every teacher tells me it's not possible). My class is almost there. We've tightened up the majority of our procedures and really need to get a few last things nailed up. At this point, my students are sick of my droning as I constantly repeat expectations, goals, procedures, and rules. Though they get sick of me they need the constant repetition. My students need structure. My students desperately need rules...they just don't realize it.
The only frustration I've had with being a teacher so far has been with my leadership and administration. They have only RECENTLY ordered curriculum (math books etc.), we do not have keys/key cards to the building yet, and discipline within the school seems severely lacking. Though I haven't really sent my students to the office the other teachers tell me awful stories about how their children are being disciplined. The biggest struggles are no curriculum and no key to get in and out of the building. Out of the eleven days we've had school I have been the first one here probably seven out of the eleven days. My principal has vowed to be at school by 6a.m. every day but has failed to follow through with that promise so I have been left alone in my car most mornings waiting to be let into school. It's sad that a first year teacher has to wait for the principal to get into school.
Things are great and I'm just trying to get into a flow. Sorry for the gaps between posts.
Monday, August 17, 2009
The school day was great. I didn't get a ton of procedural, rule learning done; however, there was a lot of school-wide procedures that were accomplished today. Tomorrow I'll get to introduce my big goals and investment plans to my students. One reason today was so much fun was because I made the students "create" the rules. In other words, I had my rules already made up but instead of forcing them upon my students I created a dialogue in which the students and I talked about rules and we got to "create", from scratch, our own classroom rules. The students were eager to create their own rules and they really felt invested in their class. And, the best part is that the rules they chose were the ones I selected for them anyway. This way, they feel invested as a class and I get to introduce their rules.
With all of that being said, as good of a day as it was, this day was just completely exhausting. I cannot believe the physical and mental strain that I had throughout the day. My hat is off to all of you teachers out there. Granted, this was my first day but I know that it'll be hard on me and my body for quite some time.
Well, I'm officially a teacher. Let the hard days, long hours, and physical strain begin. I'm just glad things started on a positive note.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I love Bobby McFerrin. Everything I have seem him do he blows my mind. He is famously known for the song "Don't Worry Be Happy"; although, he is an incredible musician and vocalist. This is an interesting video from the World Science Festival where Bobby McFerrin is talking about expectation using the stage as his keyboard playing the elegant, yet simple, pentatonic scale.