Sometimes, I Eat Cake For Lunch

…and other advice you probably never asked for

Month: September, 2013

Thursday

It’s almost the end of a long week. I have two different lesson plans running now — one for the class that’s on the schedule I planned, and another for the 3 classes who needed an extra day to accomplish the task. In this week alone I’ve learned so much about what they are and are not capable of.

It’s been a stressful logistics week. There are two printer/copy machines that the teachers use (there’s another in the main office but it’s mostly for that staff plus it’s very very slow). Anyway, of the two that are available, one is constantly breaking to the point that it’s pretty much unavailable, and the other is out of the toner that no one can find. Add that to the fact that these two copy machines are used by both the middle school teachers and the high school teachers upstairs, and you have a lot of people scrambling to modify their plans for the day. Also: Monday is picture day so I agreed to have my room be used for the photos all day (there are literally no extra spaces at school. When the kids have art or technology classes, they’re taught in our classrooms during our free periods). Because I can’t use my room, I’ll be in a different classroom every single period on Monday. Woooo.

Advertisements

Teaching, Week 3

I’ve had so many potential posts in my head but by the time I get home from work it’s dinner-more work-SLEEP.

I’ve been more tired this week than I was the first two weeks. But of course I’m still very happy. I’m trying to change my thinking a lot re: my students. I can’t ask big questions like “Did having a Senate actually make Rome a republic?” and it will be necessary for  my to cut out a huge amount of content because they need so much help with basic academic skills.

Garage Sale Haul 9.21.13

IMG_0686

Fantastic coat with fur collar, $20.

IMG_0688With matching clutch! $1. I had seen it in France and wanted it, and now it’s mine.

Plus: 3-hole punch for my classroom, $1, extra dry erase markers (5 for $1), a huge stash of pink printer paper (unavailable at school), $1, a metal decorative Disneyland E-ticket sign for my friend Ryan, $3, a nice wicker desk organizer for my classroom, $1, and a set of 7th grade trivia cards for my students to play with when they’re done with their work, $1. The last two garage sale weekends had been total busts, this one made up for it. And one garage sale even tried to give me a free puppy which I got to hold for a while! My parents said no though.

Week 2 (still good)

I finished teaching at 2 today and had Period 5 free, and then I worked until 5:45 straight (about 4 hours). I felt productive and great. And then I came home and my dad had steak ready and then I worked some more. But I’m happy and feeling good!

Good Week

I did it! I taught for a whole week! It was a good week, and it ended on a great note. I got my problem class to finally act appropriately. It will still take some work but I’m thrilled with how today worked (I skipped one of the normal 7th grade discipline steps and went right to the one they really didn’t want to happen to them).

 

Then I stayed after for three hours and was super productive. And then Stephen surprised me by meeting me at work with fruit tarts from Porto’s to celebrate my first week. Also, I know have an official projector!! Success.

Day 3

I wish I could blog more but there just isn’t time – I promised myself I’d grade quizzes and I’m actually looking forward to doing that right now (because I wanted to do it early but was delayed — it’s funny how perspective changes like that, I genuinely am happy that I get to grade right now). I had a lengthy discussion with my dad about my various feelings, so if you are curious and are in communication with him, I’m sure he will recount them for you! 

Teaching!

I definitely don’t have enough energy to make this as detailed as I should, but my first two days have been really good so far! There are things I definitely DO NOT like about it, but everyone is really nice, and I like my kids, even when they WON’T SHUT UP (seriously, what is it with 7th graders??).

On my first day, I had a crazy range of different emotions, which included “OH MY GOD, THIS SUCKS”, “I really don’t want to come back and do this tomorrow”, and “Oh my God, these children are angels!!”. But I left feeling genuinely excited to come back the next day. I know there are going to be bumps along the road, but at the moment, I’m content to consider this a journey (please excuse the bad cliche). I’m excited to have these kids for a whole year and see how far both they and I come!

 

 

Planning

I move into my classroom tomorrow, and I’m super excited and I don’t know what to expect. I’ve seen a few other classes but I’m not sure what mine will be shaped like. Right now I’m honestly enjoying spending my own money on classroom supplies that I know they won’t have for me, but I’m sure that feeling will disappear soon. It just feels so satisfying right now to buy my own stacked folder organizers!

I’ve been planning planning planning and I’m feeling confident. Admin has been incredibly helpful and I feel like there’s a lot of support so far. Planning for middle school has been a whole different ball game than I experienced last year. The school encourages me to spend a whole week on activities that just establish expectations, which seems weird but I suppose having rules in place now will make for a smooth year – this is going to be a challenge for me.

Curtis and I have a lot of good content ready for Rome (though, I found out since the last post that I will be planning that I’m actually supposed to plan this year thematically, which means that my first unit will be on the gaining of power by the Ancient Romans, Chinese and Mayan civilizations. Eek).

It’s happening!

Workin’

I’ve been a busy bee. My friend Curtis (who was also recently hired to teach 7th Grade History at a different school in the same network) came over and we planned for 8 hours today. We were incredibly productive – we planned the first three days of introduction material in extreme detail, complete with alternate assignments if we’ve finished everything with time still left over. We also created a skeleton of our 2-week Fall of Rome/Byzantine Empire unit. I feel so much better now. There are a lot of holes to fill in, but we’ve done a lot of the hard part. 

photo (10)I even started (and almost finished) a two-day lesson on Inflation in the later Roman Empire, complete with an inflation simulation and a close reading assignment on Diocletian’s Edict on the Fxing of Prices. And I had an opportunity to pull out a bunch of my primary source materials from college which I hope to use (the new Common Core standards are big on primary sources). I have never wanted to email a former professor so badly to tell him what I’m working on for my 7th graders, but unfortunately Prof. Sizgorich passed away my senior year 😦 Anyway, I know he’d be proud!