Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The First Day of School!

Hullo there!

Today was the first day of school for the students. And it went fantastically! I had such a great day that I have reaffirmed my desire to be a teacher.

First up, was homeroom. All we really had to do was get the students into alphabetically order so we can start to learn their names. Then we passed out a LOT of paperwork. We went over what homeroom expectations were going to be and soon enough, students were off to their first class.

Just so everyone doesn't get confused, our school is on one of the weirdest schedules I have ever seen. The day is broken down into eight periods (at least I'm pretty sure it's eight). But the major academic classes are in block scheduling. Then the spare periods are left for electives and lunch. It was very confusing to me at first, but it's not too bad.

So, first class. We arranged the students and then had to work our some locker stuff, which are assigned by first class and not homeroom. Then we proceeded to lay out some of the classroom rules and expectations. Next, it was time to get into some math! My co-op placed me in charge of doing warm ups. For our class, our warm ups are all basic skills that the students need to be able to do without a calculator, so they are prepared for their end of grade test. So, I got the students all set up with their warm up calendars that the 7th grade math teachers decided to use. After they finished, we collected them and then went over the problems. It was interesting to see how rusty the students multiplying and dividing skills were after a summer. Following that, we started a diagnostic test (AKA a pre-test). There wasn't enough time to finish, so that will be on tomorrow's agenda.

We covered the same things in the second class, but it was very different for me. The way that the schedule was split up, we have class for a period of time, then they go to their elective classes, while we have our planning period. Then they come back to us for a while, and then break again for lunch. Finally, they come back to us for one last time. It was so convoluted. But we are going to rotate our schedule weekly, so it's not the same group of students that has a broken up class like that all of the time.

During our planning period, the returning 7th grade teachers made the new 7th grade teachers lunch, which was extremely nice of them. We sat down and ate in the workroom and then did some scheduling for the computer lab. For lunch, we go down to the cafeteria with the students and watch them to make sure that they are perfectly well behaved angels.

Finally, the third and final class of the day arrived. We did the same things with them and there were no problems.

What I did find today, is that teachers down South are able to say things that most teachers in the North wouldn't be able to get away with. Some things are just more acceptable to say to students. I guess it's just another culture shock for me. My co-op is very sarcastic when talking with the students, which is interesting because the students are only just starting to learn the subtle nuances of sarcasm. Most of the time, it went completely over their heads. That is going to be fun and interesting this semester!

But at the end of the day, I looked back and realized that there wasn't a point in the day where I was nervous about anything. I take that to be a combination of the experiences that I've already had teaching and that I am naturally made to be a teacher. The classroom seems to be an environment that I can thrive in. Helping people learn something new or reinforcing something old is something that I like to do and find fun.

I hope that the rest of the school year is just as fun and exciting as today was!

The Tenderfoot Teacher

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