So lots of people have been asking me: How’s your new job? My one-word response: busy. (I may have substituted this with different, tiring, or weeeelllll… depending on who you are, how much time we have, or whether you’re showing signs of really wanting to listen to me or not.) Maybe you want a more detailed response. Maybe you don’t. You can decide if you want to keep reading.
I really do enjoy my new job. It’s constantly working my brain to develop new ways to meet the individual needs of my students. I have small class sizes AND these wonderful ladies called “interventionists” who work with me to have kids in small groups. However, I feel this enormous pressure to succeed. Maybe it’s because we don’t have a contract in our district and if I’m not doing a satisfactory job then it’s not too difficult to get rid of me. Or it could just be me being my typical perfectionist self. Or it could be that I don’t have a curriculum. Yes, teacher friends, you read it right. No curriculum. Literacy standards, yes, but no defined curriculum. Guess that’s my job to figure out.
My day is constant movement. I’m never bored. Ever. So’s here is the gist of my day:
1) Prep time from 7:05-9:21. This seems like a long time. Do not be fooled. During this time, I have meetings about 2 times per week. I also have to make 15 trips to the copier because of my absent-mindedness and the copier is a 90 second walk from my classroom… one way. Also, I have to make copies of my lesson plans and assignments for 10 people. Not an exaggeration. ELL teacher (who co-teaches with me and already knows the plans, but it’s good to make certain we’re on the same page), 2 interventionists (these have to be detailed because they teach with me), and 7 special ed teachers. Lesson plans also get posted to my classroom website. Also during this time: data entry and organization, individualized planning for classes (3 different classes x 2 groups in each class = 6 different lessons per day), coffee drinking, breakfast eating, email checking, and room organizing. Oh yea. And Friday AM bus duty, which I’m still struggling to remember. Have to bring my allen wrenches with me to make sure I don’t get locked out at bus duty. Fun.
2) 6th Grade Classes: 9:24-11:01. These kids are ANGELIC, but I’m still struggling to meet the needs of all members in this group, who are reading 2-6 grade levels below where they should be.
3) 8th Grade Classes: 11:04-12:41. The group I thought would be the easiest has proven to be the most challenging. (Does this have to do with Murphy’s Law? I think it should be a new law if it doesn’t. Goodger’s Law?) We have an excellent strategy-based workbook to use in this class, but it has now been proverbially thrown out the window in favor of a more thematic approach centered around different essential questions and novels (including “The Skin I’m In” by Sharon Flake, “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, and “We Beat the Streets”). Here’s to hoping that these units will make the kids feel smarter than the workbooks did…
4) Lunch: 12:41-1:11. I think this is mathematically a half-hour chunk. It certainly doesn’t feel that long.
5) 7th Grade Classes: 1:14-2:53. They’re trying to kill me. Honest-to-goodness.
6) After School: 2:53-4:00. Have bus duty on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays (again, still struggling to remember to go). Cross country (for the rest of the month) is on every day but Friday. The other days, I rush into my room, clear out anything I think I might need to do at night, and book it out of there to pick up the munchkin.
More updates to follow if exciting things occur (or if I just need to ramble on to an inanimate object such as my computer).