Sunday, August 15, 2010

First week of school, check!

Kristen says...

Happy fin de semana! Well, ok, so the weekend is almost over, but I hope it has been a happy one for you.

I meant to post earlier this week, but I forgot how tiring the first day(s) of school can be!

Overall, this week of school went quite well. My classes are small (all are less than 12 but one), and the students are very courteous and pleasant. This particular teaching assignment is different from my last in many ways, but one that was immediately apparent is how nice it was last year to know the students before the first day of school.

I struggle (a lot!) with names. Introduce yourself to me, I'll say "nice to meet you," shake your hand...and forget your name within a few seconds. It's not that I don't fact, I'll try to repeat your name to myself in the hopes that the next time we see each other, I will be able to greet you by name. Unfortunately, that very rarely happens.

Last year at Saydel I had the advantage of having been a substitute teacher for my 10th grade students since they were in 7th grade, so I had a very easy time memorizing the few names I didn't know going in. Down here...I knew 1.

But, I am happy to say, that after 3 days (and tri-fold name plates, thanks for the idea Mrs. Butler!!) I know the names of all of my 6th graders, a good portion of my 7th graders, most of my 8th graders, and at least half of my seniors (I've only seen them twice, so I think I need a bit more time to get them 100%). Now, if I saw them out of the context of school I'm not sure how well I'd do, but in the classroom, I feel pretty good.

I'm also excited about how the students received some of the ideas of projects we are going to do this year. The seniors, especially, were really open to my curriculum ideas. That made me quite happy.

We did have some sad news that marred this first week of school. My paternal grandpa passed away on Thursday, and I got the call just before my 2nd class of the day. I worked really hard to not let it get to me for the rest of the day, and I think I managed pretty well. The fact that I really want to be home with my family right now, added to the fact that Thursday was also the day that the Iowa State Fair started, it's been a tough week...but my successes at school and the overall warmth and enthusiasm I've received from my students and fellow teachers down here made the week an overall success, despite the sadness.

The two things I am missing most this week, in order of their importance...

1. Grandpa

2. Fair

With that, I guess I'd probably better get back to planning.

A teacher's work is never done...until summer break, that is! :)


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