Thursday, August 30, 2007

Week 1

Overall, my first week of school has been amazing. However, I'm assuming that you might be interested in more detail than that, so here are some miscellaneous things I've noticed since Monday.

On the upside...
-My students are so cute! They're these sweet little freshmen who are so shy and scared, yet also so excited and eager to be at Mission
-My students have really taken to the norms we've set up for the classroom. It's not to say that they're always following them, but they're highly cognizant of them.
-My students don't seem to hate me. They smile at me and say hi to me when they see me in the halls. So far, I don't think I've ruined anyone's life. I'll continue to work on that.
-I continue to be in awe of my CT and in awe of how well STEP did in pairing me up with her. She is an incredible teacher and very much has the style I hope to take on.
-I'm learning a LOT. About everything from easy tips for quieting down a room to how schools function administratively. I am starting to think that I will actually be prepared to have my own classroom at this time next year.
-Kids have been very honest about what they like and dislike in math classes, and fortunately most of the things that they told us helps them learn are things we were already planning.

On the downside...
-We have way too many kids in our classes, and they're not going away. On the first day we literally had to call down to the office in the middle of class to get someone to bring us more chairs.
-We have at least two students who have assaulted a teacher. Yikes. One of the students I don't really know because she's only shown up once (they may have moved her to another class to reduce our numbers). The other is one who I really really like and he seems to like me as well. Although I expect that we won't always agree on things, I feel like I have absolutely no reason to believe that he'd even consider hitting me.
-San Francisco is experiencing a heat wave and only two of the five windows in our room open. It's so hot and stuffy that it pretty much puts all the kids to sleep.
-I have never had so many opportunities to practice my teacher look in such a short span of time (but on the upside again, it seems to be working pretty well)

And really on the downside...
The only thing I dislike about my whole teaching situation so far is that it is SO far away. San Francisco is about 45-60 minutes away, which means that we LEAVE Palo Alto at 6:30am. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is getting up before the sun, so I'm not really pleased with the 5:30am alarm clock and am dreading the winter. At least I'm carpooling, so I get to sleep on the car ride up there half the days of the week. But it's a bad situation when going to bed at 10pm (which obviously doesn't happen) does not guarantee enough sleep.


Jen said...

It sounds like a great first week, overall. I hope the heat wave leaves SOON, though - that's such a drag to teach (and try to learn) when it's hot and stuffy. Do you or your CT have a fan you could bring in? In terms of the kids who assaulted a teacher do you know any of the circumstances? A little mutual respect can go a long way, and some teachers, unfortunately, have a sadistic streak and can push their students in unkind ways. Not that ever assaulting someone is acceptable in any way, shape or form, but I think you know what I mean... Enjoy the three day weekend! Although I'm sure you'll be working on stuff for school or the program.

Rebecca said...

I think a window air conditioner and developing a caffeine addiction might just solve all your problems.

Teana said...

no worries, the heat wave won't last too long. i completely sympathize with on on getting up in the 5 o'clock hour since i do that myself to get to work...actually, it's more so so i can get a parking spot at bart. but at least come winter you won't be waking up to snow!

Roni said...

Congrats on surviving the first week! Sounds like a full on experience. My sympathies regarding the overcrowded classes. I truly feel your pain; my two youngest classes number at 33 and 35 respectfully. We're packed to the gills at our school, too, which is all too common a scene in modern education all around the world.

To get the most bang for your buck can you make the kids who get most of your looks sit on the floor? If they're good and others are bad you could rotate them around to the "Floor Tiles of Doom". Could make for an interesting classroom management experiment.