1. No blog post last night
2. the chocolate my girlfriend wrapped for me for "day one" lies uneaten on top of the filing cabinet in my classroom!!!
I have mixed emotions about my return to classroom life yesterday... on the one hand, I thoroughly enjoyed most of the classes I met with (although I maintain that 6 different classes to see constitutes far too many names to learn!!!), and my wild panic at discovering that a monitor which had been installed in my room unbeknownst to me at the last minute, and which was not hooked up properly to project through the LCD projector, was tempered with my appreciation of several colleagues who -- despite needing to rush off to their own "first day back" commitments, paused to patiently fiddle with my machine so that we could get it at least sort of working.
I was struck with how BIG the classes were: After teaching Grade 3 for a few years, I am no longer used to classes of 28-30 kids. As one of the students in an afternoon class wondered on his "get to know you" page, "is it normal to cram this many kids into a classroom?" Indeed!
Serendipitously, about two thirds of my grade seven classes were filled with familiar faces, as the previous two schools I have worked at feed into the school I am currently at. So I saw some "old friends". This helped considerably with overall classroom management and general enjoyment of the day!
One thing I strongly believe in is being well organized. This includes developing templates that help keep classes and dayplans in order.
Teaching rotary, as I am quickly discovering, is a whole special kind of crazy on the paperwork front. With so many classes to manage and assess, organization is critical, and I could easily have stayed at school last night until 8 p.m. developing materials to help with this.
Alas, I had my own little "students" to consider; Alex and Simon had had their first day of school yesterday, too, and so I had to rush home after school to hear all their tales (their favourite part of their new school is the bumpy bus ride, apparently!!!) and sign the million forms that come home on Day One.
Back to my computer I headed, and although I was VERY fortunate to have my girlfriend helping me with class lists and other tasks from afar, I still worked too many hours into the night and did not get near everything done that I had hoped to. :(
One bit of "teacher homework" I did not get to was researching "Wattpad", "Polyvore" and "Manga", which all came up on some student feedback sheets I had my Grade 8s fill out in the afternoon (there is SUCH a difference between Grade 7 & 8!!!)
I did, however, erect myself bright and early this morning, determined to do a little yoga and write this blog post before heading off to Day Two, and thus, the above photo from the balcony was snapped at 6:07 a.m., AFTER a few hours of sleep.
Back into the Lion's Den I go...