Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to School

Man oh man. I finished the second day of school today after staying in that building for 12 hours. Not how I intended my second day back to be but I guess that's the life I have chosen to lead currently. It's funny. I told myself that I would be more productive during the school day this year so that I could leave no later than 6 pm every day and I made it 2 days. But whatever. I mean, things happen that are beyond my control. I was switched from my cozy outdoor bungalow over the summer into a classroom in the main building so I had to pack all of my stuff up, figure out how to set up my new classroom, and get organized for a new year all in about 3 days, on top of going to workshops and meetings for the staff. Suffice to say, the ones that are really hurting from this awkward transition are the kids. I can handle the long days, the meetings where my female superiors discuss jewelry repair when they should be giving me assignments for the next few weeks, but when I am unable to get my materials for teaching ready in time and I am forced to push ahead while I am ill prepared, those I have chosen to serve are not getting what they deserve. But enough griping. It's a new year and I need to be positive.

I have three classes of 10th grade English. One has 18 students, which is incredible and will be very interesting because the other two have 36 students each (which is what I am used to). Since I began teaching I have been wishing for smaller classes and now that I have one, I don't know what to do. The class is an academy of business and computers where the students go through their core classes as a group for the next 3 years. This is for them to develop stronger relationships with one another, amongst other reasons, and it is really exciting for me to be a part of it. I will teach them as I teach my other English classes, however I will need to develop some more technical reading and writing assignments that will align with the business and computers aspect. I have also come to realize that given their size (half of my other classes) they will complete assignments much faster. I think it should be a good experience for me because I haven't taught too much of the technical writing conventions that I should be and the smaller class will help me develop more of a structure in my overall pedagogy.

I am looking forward to the new year, the new students, the new experiences in and out of the classroom. I will be taking my students on field trips, which is another new experience for me. Of course I will need a little input from other teachers as to what to do and how to handle all of my students on a field trip at the same time. Maybe I can get some of the other academy teachers to give me a hand. Or I can just post on craig's list for volunteer chaperones. Whichever works.

I will NOT allow my job to own me though. I am through with that shit. After the end of my year last year where I was putting in 12-18 hour days I realized why the attrition rate of new teachers is so high. I have been referred to as a "lifer" by a few teachers whom I greatly respect and I would like to think that I am down for life. Fuck it. I am down for life. I just need to better manage my own so I can stay on top of my game, nah mean?

I feel like I can do much better with this post than I just did. I apologize. I will rewrite it once I get some sleep.

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