Sunday, September 13, 2009


I really wanted to post last week, but we conveniently didn't have internet. Probably good to have no distractions, but also sad to have no distractions. I did actually write some entries offline but figured I didn't need to put all that up. I am excited to get caught up on all the teacher blogs and see how you're all doing!

So. First week down! Woohoo!

First of all, I think it went pretty well. Second, I am TIRED.

I am proud of myself for having a good level of patience. I wasn't the hard-ass that I normally am. Sort of worried about it, but also thinking that I need to conserve energy for these long days. A day in middle school is full of power surges, but elementary is a slow burn with occasional hotspots.

Of course, it's only the first week, so the problems are the lowest they'll be all year. Friday afternoon was the worst part of the week in terms of kid behavior--a couple kids kept bothering another couple kids. I did notice that my Teacher Look so far is pretty effective. And I haven't even had to do The Stare yet!

In terms of routines and procedures, I think I slacked a bit on that one. Partly because there's still more stuff that I need for my class, so I had to kind of BS my way through a couple things. What's nice is that I don't need to worry about keeping strictly to the schedule; it's fine if one lesson bleeds into the next. And so this week it may have happened a lot... :)

What I did get going was the lining up and walking. On Friday I assigned spots for the carpet area (which doesn't have an actual carpet yet...) and kept an eagle eye for the kids trying to sprawl and lie down. Do you guys have that problem? Kids just lounging about like they're in their living room? I will definitely watch the amount of time I have them there. It's nice to be able to go back and forth from their seats to the carpet, to keep things a little more lively instead of just sitting at desks all day.

The beginning and end of the day have been a little crazy. I will work on that. End of the day I think presents the most chaos potential. This week I will begin class job time at the end of the day along with packing up time.

We didn't start out the first day with rules yet. The second day I asked them to think about how we can make our class a good learning community, and we made a list together. On Friday, the last thing we did was create a list of jobs they'd like in the class. They really got into that. One student suggested the job of Joke-Teller, for when someone needs a pick-me-up. Isn't that adorable?

I plan to do some class rules activities early this week. We will get started on real lessons too, for some of the subjects. Others won't be quite ready yet.

I am definitely way behind with planning. We're supposed to have a week's worth at a time, and clearly I don't. For one, there is no freaking time! For two, I don't have everything I need to plan or even do lessons, so I maintain that it's not all my fault. :) But I hope to start getting a little more caught up this week.

I was at school for at least eleven hours each day last week. Remember that I wanted to go home by 5.30? Hahahahahhaaaaaaaaaaa yeah right. This week I will *try* to leave by 6.30 or 7 at the latest. I haven't been able to catch up on sleep, which is really tough. However, the pace of the day isn't too crazy, so I was making through pretty well.

I brought some things home this weekend but didn't really work on them. Surprise surprise. I worked on a few lessons for the beginning of the week but graded no assessments. I will start using my (limited) prep time to work on that kind of thing.

We didn't get much done with the apartment, unfortunately. Maybe next week there will be more time and more sanity. :)

Overall, I feel good. Sane and patient. Don't get me wrong, I'm still plenty worried about lessons, nervous about managing behavior stuff, and frustrated about some school things, but it's not like last fall. I haven't cried and I don't feel like I will be needing to or wanting to. I don't feel frazzled or like I'm becoming somebody else. I'm too busy and tired, but I have hopes for that abating in the next few weeks. I really like my colleagues, and soon maybe I will actually start to get out of my room and see them. We want to do a housewarming soon. It's a good start to the year.


Schoolgal said...

I am so happy you had a good week. Keep working on your routines. It's also good to have a table captain who gets the handouts for the table. It goes faster and you can always rotate that position. Also have a special folder for "Parent Notices". Any important info or letter will go in that folder.

With elementary level, you really do have to plan. See if you can find a 2nd set of Teacher Guides. If you don't have any, bring home a set of textbooks to keep at home.
Have them copy their homework when they get back from lunch. It's a good way to calm them down.

Try to get out by 5:30 and on Friday even earlier. Otherwise you will never feel like you had a weekend.

You have a couple of 3-day weekends coming up, so use them for your apartment, and plan a housewarming in early or mid December so you can combine it with a holiday party and you won't have to rush.

Do you like your new neighborhood?
Also, what grade are you teaching??

btw, I had 2 posts of my own over at NYCEd.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

No tears? Then you're off to an excellent start!