…set…

Open House came and went with a decent crowd and much broken Spanish. I have a class of eighteen: nine boys, nine girls, ten black, and eight hispanic. Two of my students speak no English (Spanish and Chatino, an indigenous language of Mexico that is nothing like Spanish), and I have two students who receive services for special needs.

Several parents expressed gratitude at my attempts to speak Spanish with them, and I want to work on my Spanish. There is a program offered in my district that involves taking a Spanish class once per week and going to Guatemala during the summer, and it’s completely free to teachers. I’d really like to get into it, but I’m not sure if I’m too late.

Things are a bit stressful at this moment – I have to write up lesson plans for the week to turn in on Monday morning… it’s not really that different from requirements I had during student teaching – in fact, the required plans are far less detailed than what I’m used to. That being said, I’m a little lost as to how to start things off. One of the other third grade teachers emailed me her plans from last year’s first two weeks of school, so I will look over those for guidance.

You know, even though my name is on the door and I’ve spent a week preparing my classroom, it still doesn’t feel like “mine”. I know this will change as time goes on, but I’m so used to working with other people’s students, I’m not sure how having my own class is supposed to feel.

Ready…

New Teacher Orientation is done. I have been inside my classroom. Teacher workdays (read: meetings ALL DAY) start tomorrow…

My room was completely empty when I came in… I had nothing except a teacher desk, a kidney table, some chairs, two bookshelves, an overhead, and computers. I don’t have any textbooks. No library. No student desks. No crayons, paper, markers… nothing. I couldn’t move any of the furniture, yet, either – AND we don’t get our keys until tomorrow.

Stress city.

I swept out a cabinet and feebly started putting my personal teacher materials in it. I really had no idea where to start. I still don’t.

I have a sad stack of books, most of which are probably too low-level for my third graders (I student taught 1st grade, so I have LOTS of picture books). I was given construction paper and some supplies when I left student teaching, but not nearly enough. Not even close.

So, I did what all teachers do – I went shopping. I have no idea if I’ll get reimbursed or for how much, but I just HAD to buy SOMETHING. The first day of school is in a week, and my walls are completely bare – I needed a calendar, Star of the Week stuff… I’m going to spend today making “welcome” decorations for Open House (Thursday!). I’m broke. I’m tired. I’m not sure how it’s going to come together.

But I know it will. I know it will all work itself out… I bought crayons, markers, colored pencils, nametags, posters, a calendar, borders, and office supplies. And the wonder folks at Staples are having WONDERFUL sales for Back to School, including free supplies with an increased limited quantity for teachers. I was able to get 25 bottles of glue, 25 plastic rulers, and 25 packs of pencils (200 altogether) – all for FREE. I’m not being paid to say this, and I’m not one for brand loyalty, but Staples is saving my ass right now.

Tomorrow I’m going in to school early. Really early. I have to – I won’t be able to calm down until my room looks like a third grade classroom and not a cavernous storage space.

You know what, though? I’m so excited that it actually overshadows the stress. Here’s to a great year!

Here it goes!

Well, I start new teacher orientation on Wednesday. I’ll be teaching 3rd grade and I’m very excited about this. I cannot wait to get into my classroom and get it all set up, though the whole process is a bit intimidating!

So much to do, so little time!