Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back to School

Today was my first day teaching in my new school. It was somewhat of an early start, but I've been eager to get back in the classroom. Since this was my first year teaching 6th grade, I wasn't sure what to expect. The students seem pretty excited to be there. Today was all sorts of hectic because I had to assign lockers, hand out a million forms, take attendance and also fit my first days activities into the class as well.

Even though we blocked off two hours of time to get all of those things done with my students, I still felt short on time. The first hour didn't go as smoothly as I would have hoped. Chalk that up to me not pacing myself enough or allowing the students enough time to fiddle with their locker combinations. I eventually got everything sorted out but I felt exhausted after the first 2 hours of the day.

The rest of the day progressed much more smoothly. However, I'm still not used to teaching the same class five times a day. To be honest, I was getting a little tired of the whole song and dance by the fourth or fifth time I had done it. While the students are all different, I didn't have the energy to give the same speeches and announcements each time. In that way, each class was different.

I am very thankful for the wonderful staff I work with. They were all extremely supportive of me during and after the school day. I teach on a team of four other teachers and I've found the math teacher to be the most supportive so far. This is not to say that the other teachers aren't supportive, but she's just very good at the whole unofficial mentoring thing. I really admire the presence she has not only in the classroom but outside of the classroom as well.

It probably needs to be said that I'm the only male teacher on my team. In fact, out of 15 6th grade teachers, there are only 3 men. You know, I'm fine with that sort of ratio. I've always been more comfortable around women. Most of my close friends tend to be women, so having the majority of my coworkers be women isn't a problem.

I'm currently working on the writer's notebook and deciding where to direct the class. It's tricky but I have a pretty good idea of where I want to take things. Tomorrow is another day. I can't wait to start again.


Crys said...

My third grader is writing in a journal every day this year. I'm very excited he has a teacher who understands the importance of creative writing, not just copying out of books, or finding the beginning, middle, and end of a story they've read.

The first day, he had to write two journal entries: one about his day, and the other about the lesson he learned during mass.

When reading the first, I noticed the spelling was terrible, but on the second, it was perfect. I asked him about this and he said, "The teacher said spelling wasn't graded on the first entry, just the second, so it didn't matter one bit." LOL Just goes to show how some kids will take advantage of a teacher's desire to let them be creative!

Good luck with your class this year. I know you'll do a great job.

Joel said...

Teachers can do a lot to kill creativity or ruin artistic expression for students. It's unfortunate.

Glad your son has a teacher who is encouraging it though.

Cynthia said...

glad you're liking your new school! we still need to get together. i bet you're super busy w/ the new place though.

Mr. K said...

I hope by now you've settled into the five same classes routine.
How is it working out for you? Does the team in general get to collaborate on units to have some similarity? I think that would be the strength of team teaching.