Tuesday, September 08, 2009

first eleven hour day

...and I need at least another full day before I'd feel ready.

And would you like to guess when I finally made it to the bathroom at school today? 6.30pm. Welcome to the glamourous life of a teacher!

Today was the first time I could do a little of substance in my classroom, but there just wasn't enough time. Things are not ready. But I stayed long enough to get as much done as possible, for the bare minimum so I will have what I need to get through the day.

I am really nervous for tomorrow. I'm always nervous before the first day of school, but this anxiety is the worst yet, because I've been dealing with so much more than just the regular teaching stuff. (I wish I had private posting available to share more!)

But, on the home front, we moved last weekend. I don't know if I mentioned that. The move itself went incredibly well. Our new apartment is FANTASTIC. I love it! It's bigger, brighter, airier, and more grown-up. No More Wire Shelving! Ever!

Did I mention last year that we moved? That we moved the day before school started? Here's a tip from me to you: NEVER DO THAT.

It was a shitty year, but that was possibly the shittiest way to start out a shitty year. I was exhausted and stressed out from school stuff already, and then exhausted and stressed out from moving, and then anxious because all my stuff was in boxes and I had to go be a professional in front a bunch of pre-teens. Not a great time.

But this time worked out a million times better. We've had a full week plus a long weekend to work on unpacking, organizing, and cleaning. We're down to a handful of boxes--all mine, full of random crap. We now have three bookshelves nearly full of books and teachery things!

So this weekend there wasn't much school-related things I could do (except make copies), but I did get to sleep a bit, grocery shop, watch some tv (finally got the new hookup) and relax. Just in time for the CRAZY about to begin!

I made it through today pretty well on adrenaline, but am not sure how I will hold up for tomorrow. I am happy to say that my colleagues and AP so far have been amazing and have been supportive, and that is making a big difference in how I feel! Even though I don't feel exactly confident or hopeful, I feel...steady, or steadfast. Like we will get it done and get through it and move along to making our situation better.

Good luck everyone on the first day back!


Schoolgal said...

Congrats on the move. Yes I remember when you moved last year and the problems you had with that place. Are you still in Brooklyn??
I hope the personal stuff works itself out.

The first week shouldn't be so stressful as far as lesson planning on the elementary level. We usually give pre-tests in math and reading. And we get a writing sample. Did you ever do Mapping of the Heart? It's a great way to launch writing workshop and put up a fun and easy bulletin board. Or have them create an acrostic of their names. Combine vocabulary into your spelling. It makes it easier. If you are teaching 5th grade, make the spelling list integrate with the SS test. In Math I taught reading graphs and how to figure out distance using the scale since that also is part of the SS test.

I also did some fun spelling for the holidays. The kids loved it. Start with words that go with the season like foliage, Autumn, etc. Halloween was always a fun list of words. And give them a chance to draw. You can use that to decorate the class.

You already know how to establish routines. The week will go by fast and it will give you time to judge their capabilities.

Don't stay in school any later than 5 or 6. You will have your room looking the way you want it within a few weeks. You are new, your admin should understand.

Jaclyn said...

Best of Luck!

I hope your school year goes well!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I'm eager to read of your first-day-with-kids adventure!