Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ok, so I know this is totally wrong to say and I'm SURE I'll be regretting it soon, but . . . I'm actually sorta looking forward to going back to school a little.

(Please, don't hurt me for saying it.)

I've been having a fabulous vacation (better than I could have imagined) but I'm also looking forward to getting back to real life. Like my apartment, my friends, the city, and yes, even school.

It's going to be an interesting year with our assistant principal-turned-principal. I'm looking forward to seeing all of my little ones (especially my babies in the first grade who will now be second graders!!). And I love all of the beginning of the year organizing: my classroom, my schedule, finding out who's new to ESL this year and who tested out.

I'm sure come October 1st I'll already be counting down to summer break, but for now I'm reveling in the last days of summer and thinking about the year to come.


X said...

Do you get a list of your kids at the beginning of the year, or do you have to dig through ARIS to figure out who is yours? Do you put your schedule together yourself? One last question for today - I highly suspect that my principal is going to try to make me take kids who aren't technically ELLs - do you know if it is stated explicitly somewhere that she can't do that? Sorry for being a bit much right now...I'm just trying to figure out what to expect on the eighth (although I'm sure our schools could be totally different)(and I haven't had coffee yet).

Anonymous said...

These last two weeks, for me, are entirely programming (and avoiding the boxes in my apartment while it's being worked on).

You are not the only one wanting school to start. If I could fast forward to September 8, I would.


Ms. M said...

I'm pretty sure your principal can make you teach non ELLs. And then again, even if he/she can't, don't they just do what they want anyways?

No, I definitely don't get a list at the beginning of the year! I was disabused of that notion my first year teaching! Figuring out my students is a long process that starts with printing out a report from ATS that tells me which kids from last year passed the NYSESLAT and who didn't. That is the starting point of my list. Then I have to go through all of the new registrations and look in every. single. cum folder. to check the HLIS forms to see if students are eligible for testing. Then for good measure I check all the folders of Kindergarteners and first graders already in their teachers' file boxes because inevitably I find another handful of kids that need to be tested. Once I know who can be tested, I start the actual process of testing them all. Once the testing is done, I have my list and I can start making groups writing my schedule.

It's a long process. The first three years it took me 3 weeks. The last year only one. Partly because I'm getting better at it but partly because we didn't have a ton of new registrations last year.

The good news about all this is that I don't have to be ready to teach until a couple of weeks into the year. And my classroom doesn't need to be perfect either. Makes for a very low stress start to the year which is great!

So are you starting a new school?

X said...

Ahhh. This is really good to know; thanks. I appreciate your answer.

I'd actually be happy to do all that work, since I don't trust the principal to do it. Here's the thing -- I am slated to have five groups, five periods a week each. Three of those periods are pull-out during that class's enrichment period, and two of those periods are push-in. So I don't want my kids to choose their enrichment class only to be told two weeks later that they have to leave computers (or whatever) to be with me instead. You know? Especially the seventh and eighth graders, who didn't have ESL services last year!

Still at the same school...one of my colleagues referred to it as "The Nightmare on XXXXXX Street," which I am going to repeat at every opportunity.