Friday, August 13, 2010

Survivors

New 7th grader Dylan, age 13.

Now that Jacob has graduated, it's just Dylan and me left to drag ourselves out of bed and off to school early each morning for the 2010-11 school year.  I'm happy to report that we survived our first week back!

Dylan is enjoying junior high.  He's excited about his tech lab class, where they'll get to use machinery and make cool things, but I really think his favorite class so far is Spanish.  Tonight we practiced the "Como esta usted?" "Estoy bien. Y tu?" "Muy bien," conversation.  His Spanish class is taught by Dylan's most favorite teacher, Mr. Whatcott, who was also Dylan's second grade teacher once upon a time.

The superintendent and principals "Do the Hustle."  Our principal, Eric Harmon, is in the blue shirt on the right.

The students began classes on Wednesday, but we veteran teachers started the new year on Monday with a big district meeting in the auditorium, where our administrators entertained us with their version of the Hustle. 

The mess.

After the district meeting and a high school faculty meeting, we were released to spend the rest of the day in our classrooms.  What a mess!  My desk was piled high with so much paperwork, I hardly knew where to begin.  I'm happy to report that I've since tamed the beast.  It has been organized into neat, orderly piles I can now attack systematically.

The other mess.

I also have a pile of old English materials that was placed inside my door by a teacher who no longer needs them.  I've gotten rid of perhaps a quarter of those piles so far.  The rest of that job is on next week's agenda!

Kim finishes a bulletin board that's been empty for 2 years!

One big change this year is the departure of my aide, Wyndie.  That's right, she took a job as a dental office manager, making three times as much money as the aide position pays.  What was she thinking?!  Okay, okay, I wish her well.  Really.  I do.

My new aide is Kim, who happens to be my principal's wife.  Her position in our vocational training program was eliminated due to budget cuts, so I'm happy to have her join us!  She already knows the kids well, and she'll be a great support to me and the students.

That's me reading an exerpt from a book to first period.

Speaking of students, it looks like I have a good group of kids in this semester's classes.  My first period class will be a challenge.  Good thing I like a nice challenge to keep things interesting!  Six of my eighteen students speak very little English.  Five of them are Spanish-speaking, and one young man is fresh from China, with almost no English at all.

First period involved in a getting-to-know-you activity this morning.

It's funny how the students still manage to communicate.  They find ways to help each other with a combination of gestures, facial expressions, and demonstrations.  It's fun to watch them figure out how to explain an assignment to their neighbor.

There's one in every crowd!

So we're off and running.  Here's to a great, new school year!

1 comment:

Jill said...

I think I would be a little intimidated working with the principal's wife...but then you are more confident than I am, so you'll be fine. :)