Thursday, August 28, 2008

Big Suprise at School Today

In our first PD of the morning my AP starts going on about the guided lending library and how you can check out books to use with your classes.

Huh? What? Where?

"Wait, what about the library? Where is it now?" I asked. "In the closet. Ms. X moved all the boxes and spent a lot of time labeling it." Replied the AP. *Me mildly panicking inside.*

After the meeting I went to go look at the closet and to my surprise it looked beautiful! It's in the closet that I originally wanted it and it looks great. The labels are actually the check out cards that I made. Since they cut them to be labels I'll have to come up with a new sort of check out system but it's OK because I understand why they had to do that to make them fit. I'm very happy. Check it out:
(Just a portion of the library.)

In other news, my principal came up to me this morning before the beginning of her meeting and said with a big smile, "A lot of things may change. We know what you want." Referring to the fact that we now have two coach vacancies so classroom teachers may get put in those positions thus opening a lower grade class for me. Why would she say that?? We still wouldn't have and ESL teacher so I'd have to stay. If she really wanted to give me what I wanted she would have looked for an ESL teacher to replace me over the summer. Just why? Why would she bring that up again when it is not going to happen. And now even if she did offer it to me--hello, I just spent all day organizing and decorating my room. Aargh.

Well, over all it was a decent day. Look at all the supplies I got from our basement.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Not Going in Early

I was going to start this post by saying that this is the first summer since I started teaching that I have absolutely no desire to go into work early and start getting my classroom ready but in looking back on my old posts, I was feeling EXACTLY the same way on this day a year ago. I only got back from Italy eight days ago so I haven't had any time to have my lazy summer days or the get in that summer productiveness that comes with all that time off. I was literally gone from the day school let out so I didn't have any time to be home. I certainly wasn't going to give up one of those days to be in my classroom. Again, maybe if I were going to have kids in my room on the first day of school I'd be energized to get a head start on things, but it'll be the end of September before that happens.

I was reading some blogs this morning and saw that the other Ms. M was also not feeling going in to school early but was getting pressure from her administration and coaches to do so. Other commenters said they were getting the same thing. I wondered if maybe the same was going on at my school so I checked my DOE email for the first time since June but didn't find any such pleadings. No doubt on Thursday when we go into school our principal will publicly thank the teachers who did come in early but I will be content knowing that I enjoyed my last days of summer and won't have even an inkling of guilt.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Summer Planning?

It's the last week of summer and as Nancy says "everyone has planning on the brain." Everyone except me that is. I've never been a good long-term planner. Beginning from my first summer before teaching I just couldn't sit down and plan. Then it was because I had no idea what my ESL pull-out teaching assignment would look like or what would be expected of me. While all my TFA colleagues were home planning their hearts out I just couldn't as much as I wanted to.

Now that I've had three years experience I still am no good at planning. My current excuse is that I want my lessons to support what the students are doing in their regular classrooms so I wait to see what they are doing with their teachers and plan accordingly. Usually that means that I plan on a week by week basis. Also, I have six grade levels (K-5) that I have to plan for. That really doesn't lend itself very well to long term unit planning for each class. Lastly, when it comes to summer planning, I'm just not under pressure like the other teachers are to get things ready for day one. On September 2nd our building will fill with students anxious for their first day. Teachers will be setting the tone for the year, introducing routines and procedures, and generally trying to make it though the day. I on the other hand will stroll in five minutes before the bell rings and get down to paper work and administrative duties. Three weeks in when teachers are really starting to know their classes and summer had faded to a distant memory I'll be picking up my kids for the first time. Needless to say, I'll have some time to think about what I want to teach for my first week of class.

I wish that I were more like Nancy and that I loved to plan, but so far I just haven't hit that groove. I'd love to think that with a different teaching position or a more supportive school environment that I'd be able to do it, but maybe I just don't have it in me.

So here I am in the last week of summer. School's just a distant thought in my mind. Before I know it I'll wake up and it'll be back to work, the summer a yesterday away.