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First week, no make that first month

September 5, 2009

Where to start? I found out at 5pm on Aug 5th that I was officially hired and needing to start teaching on the following Monday.  Four days to prep for five classes and over 150 students. Actually it was more like 4 days because I didn’t actually get my keys until late on Thursday. Then there was the issue of all of the leftover stuff in every file cabinet, drawer, and shelf in the room. The previous teacher was obviously not Type A and there were football uniforms and pads, cords and cables, old student papers and a bunch of other crap littering my room. I waited most of Friday morning thinking and mapping out my ideas while I waited for him to get back from a meeting and move his stuff out. I should have taken a picture of the trash pile he accumulated after the move. Not so much of a pile as it was a mountain of filled boxes and papers . . .

It has now been two weeks since I started this post and obviously from my lack of time and energy to post, life as a high school teacher has not gotten any easier or smoother. After having so few days to prepare and not even having books for my Spanish classes until 4 days into school, going into week three should have been easier than the first two. Not so. I had four sections of Spanish and one Frosh Focus class. I was told the Frosh Focus class was all mapped out and that the lessons were already prepared so I wouldn’t have to do much of anything outside of class, except copying. This was not the case as the books and lessons that were used for the class last year were now being used in the AEP (Academic Enrichment Period) classes for the freshman. So with no books and only the internet as a resource for the class, I spent most of my mornings and prep period Googling activities about communication, stress management and future planning for my group of 30 kids. As for Spanish things were going well and my classes were actually going down a bit in size from close to 40 in each class to a more manageable 28-34 as my native speakers tested into higher levels. Again I started to feel like I was getting into a good routine and then WHAM! Now there is a freeze on all student schedule changes. There are too many students and not enough open sections for Spanish, English, math and business. As the administration decided how to handle the overflow of students I was presented with a myriad of possibilities: switch from Spanish to English if they find another foreign language teacher, teach another section on my prep, lose my Frosh Focus and add an English, math or Spanish class to my schedule  . . . So now 2 days ago I got a new class. I no longer have 1st hour prep for 6th, I lost my Frosh Focus class when they were finally starting to work for me during class, and now I have a class of 3-4 Spanish that is filled with students from three different teachers and all of the students at 3 different points in the lessons form never starting to being ready for the next unit. Thank goodness there is a three day weekend so I can hopefully get ahead or at least not be preparing materials and lessons in the morning on the day I plan to deliver them.

On a positive note the lack of time to eat and snack, constant running up and down the stairs to copy papers and necessity to drink a ton of water all day has led to a 10 pound weightloss. I can also un jam and refill a copier with 10 reems of paper in under a minute.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2009 4:44 pm

    10 pounds, that is equivalent to what in US dollars. Arrrrgh! Loved th’ blog me heartie! 😉 < by the way that is a patch on me eye, me not winkin'.

  2. Jacky permalink
    September 5, 2009 6:58 pm

    Wow! Sounds pretty stressful. Hopefully in the next few weeks things will start to calm down and they won’t keep moving things around!!

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