Archive for August, 2012

Seniors…

August 28, 2012

Seniors are different.  Yes, I knew they would be, but it wasn’t how I expected it.  They are not intimidated by the first day of school.  Normally the kids, even the bad kids, are usually quiet and reserved for a few weeks (or days) until they start to figure things out, but with these kids, you would not suspect it was the first day of school.  I wouldn’t describe them as bad, but they just weren’t shy.

I am not worried though.  This is just an adjustment that I need to get used to.

-J

Tomorrow…

August 27, 2012

Tomorrow is the first day of school and I am excited.  Over the weekend I started to get very nervous, but I did not feel that way at all today.  I was ready by early this morning and I spent most of the day planning for next week.  One of the things that I was most nervous about was my AP classes.  The planning was easy for my regular classes and I didn’t know what to do for my AP classes.   I got into it today and it started to come together.

One of the things that I am adjusting to at my new school is lecture.  The principal does not like lecture and wants the kids doing a lot of talking, not the teacher.  Therefore, I am going to try to limit the amount of time I spent lecturing.  I am going to require my regular and AP classes to do a lot of reading.  Since I will not be lecturing, they will have to get that information from the textbook.

There are going to be a few things to get adjusted to.  My lunch is at 10:45.  Last year I ate at 1:30.  I guess I am never going to get a normal lunch time.  I am also going to have to get used to shorter class periods.  Our classes are 50 minutes long, compared to 60 minutes at my old school.  I think I am going to like the shorter time, but it is going to feel very fast at first.

I am sure that I have said this many times, but I am really excited for tomorrow.  I really hate the week before school starts because there is a lot to do, but we are now getting started.  I am excited to see some of my former students.  I am excited to be teaching high school.  I am excited to be teaching seniors.  I am excited to be teaching government.

-J

My room…

August 25, 2012

I said before that my new school was designed for a specific  purpose, which is to encourage student collaboration.  Take a look at my new classroom.

My classroom is approximately 1000 square feet, compared to about 800 square feet at the other high school (which was built about 15 years ago).  There are 36 desks in the room and it does not feel crowded.  Last year, I had 32 desks in my room and it was difficult to find room for all of them.

The desks are even designed for collaboration.  They are not your normal rectangular desks, but are designed to fit together in different configurations.

This will be an interesting concept to work with and will require a different way of thinking.  Of course, I will let you know how things go.

-J

Back to work…

August 22, 2012

This week, we returned to work for the school year and the kids will start on Tuesday.  I am really loving my new school.  The atmosphere is completely different than my old school and the building is gorgeous (I hope to have pictures of my room soon).

I may have mentioned this before, but I am going to mention it again.  This school is interesting.  It was designed with a certain concept in mind.  Almost every room in the building has a window (there are about five that do not).  It was also designed for students to be able to collaborate and I will describe that more later. 

The biggest difference in this school from other schools is the learning center.  The learning center is a big open area in the center of the school and includes the library.  Every teacher has a desk in the learning center.  This is where we spend our time when we are not teaching class.  All planning and tutoring takes place here.  This helps create a different atmosphere because all of the teachers are together.  This school, like most high schools, is huge and without this common space, most teachers would never see most of the other teachers. 

It is also good for the students.  Each teacher is required to hold a certain amount of tutoring each week before school, during lunch, and after school.  The learning center is near the cafeteria, so students do not have to roam the building to get to tutoring.  There is always a teacher in each department with tutoring going on and the kids always have access to help, even if their teacher is not having tutoring that day.

I am really liking the school right now and hopefully it won’t change too much when the students arrive. 😉

-J