So, last week, I spent pretty much every day in the classroom for at least a few hours getting ready for the First Day of School, 27 August.
Quick and dirty:
Monday the 20th, I helped the Teaching Assistant and another student teacher* paint these lovely crayons on our closets!
There was also a staff meeting, in which we discussed money (or lack thereof), students (and their overabundance), and teachers (or lack thereof).
Tuesday: More meetings. They sure do love staff development at my school. Last year, they started a new system referred to as a Professional Learning Community or PLC. Essentially, it increases collaboration between teachers and grade levels, and focuses more on learning than teaching – instead of dissecting what you’re doing, you dissect what the student is doing. I also painted this wall:
Wednesday: all day staff development. All. Day. Staff. Development. It was useful, but looooooong. At the end, I felt like I was about to die… but I really love the staff at my school, so it was bearable. Better than some of the Teaching Fellows meetings I’ve had to sit through (sorry, Gladys).
Thursday: Meet & Greet. About 20 of our 27 students came in with their families to meet us, fill out paperwork, and ask questions. Apparently we had a really high turnout, and I was able to use some of my Spanish (which needs MAJOR work, but was very useful). We have 8 Spanish speaking students in my class. I haven’t looked through all their files to see how proficient they are in English, but the few I looked through showed pretty high writing and vocab, but low reading levels. All in all, an excited group of people.
Friday: A sad attempt to plan for the first week of school. There was so much distracting stuff going on, my teacher and I didn’t get much done. She’s doing all of the planning, of course, as I’m only going to be there once a week until January, but she didn’t even have Monday finished when I left at 4. Hell, we didn’t even have an updated class list! I’m sure it’ll all come together, though – it always does.
Amongst all this craziness, I’m taking my methods courses. From now through December, I’ll be going in once a week on Wednesdays. I won’t go full time until the spring semester, but I am supposed to teach at least three lessons this semester. The other days of the week, I’ll be taking my five other classes, and pulling out my hair. It’s going to be busy, busy, busy – but I’m already loving it. So far, everything I’ve done has been useful and felt productive… instead of last year when I felt like I was doing busywork that had no purpose.
My plan for tonight and tomorrow (besides do reading for my methods courses), is to put together some short lesson plans that I can teach anytime this semester. I also need to review the teacher’s guide to Handwriting Without Tears, which is the handwriting program my school adopted last year.
I can’t believe the first day is Monday. There’s still so much to do!
* For a while, there were two of us – she goes to another college, and was to be full-time student teaching this semester. This proved to be a bit much for all of us, so she was placed with another teacher (in the same school). She did help us out pretty much all week, though – and was awesome.