I have successfully completed my first full week of teaching my own class and I pulled it off with a few minor hiccups!
This week has gone better than I could have ever imagined! Everyone has been so helpful and extremely nice. I have never seen so much support in a workplace until now! I must say it is a glorious thing. Monday was the first day back. I was so nervous that when I pulled into the parking lot I felt like I could throw up at any moment, but I held it together and went up to my classroom.
*Side note* The air conditioner was out two days last week, but was fixed by Friday! This hallway was not used last year as there was not a senior class so the air had not been tested all year.
Back to your regularly scheduled blog! -- I walked into the building and it was blazing hot!!!! GUESS WHAT!??!?! Yep, you guessed it, the air went out again!!!!! I thought, "This is not a good way to start off!" Luckily, the administration moved our classrooms downstairs where the air was working and then our hallway was fixed by lunch time! Monday was full of class rules/expectations and the student code of conduct! Topics that are kind of boring for the students, but we made it through.
Tuesday I did a getting to know each other exercise using Thinking Maps. It went well overall, but I can tell the students are timid when it comes to sharing in front of the class. Once I started randomly calling on students, there were more that volunteered. This activity seemed to break the ice for the most part!
Wednesday was the day that didn't go as planned. Due to staff development and faculty meetings, Wednesdays are shortened and students get out an hour early. Because we haven't jumped into the curriculum yet, I had the students do some independent reading in order to get caught up with the summer reading assignment. There was a little resistance from students about reading, but that is to be expected, and then came third period...DUN DUN DUNN!!!!
There is one student in particular who decided he didn't want to read or do what he was asked. After asking him several times to get a book and read, I finally said, "Well you aren't going to sit in this class and do nothing!" I kindly asked him and his friend to see me after class!!! Once I said that, they looked at each other, got up and walked out.
I must say I handled the situation quite well!!!! I grabbed the teacher next door (While keeping an eye on my class) and asked what exactly I should do as this is all new to me. I called the 9th grade administrator who ended up not being in his office. As soon as the bell rang for class to be over, I went and found him. I talked to him about the incident and he said he was aware of it. I then went and talked to my department head who had him last year. As I was talking to her I had a mini melt down about the situation, but quickly pulled myself together and went back to my room. I emailed the 10th grade adminstrator and the head guidance counselor as well as my department head, after I spoke with her, followed by writing both of the students referrals. The verbally defiant student has since been removed from my class and his friend, who I sat down and had a nice conversation with today, has apologized to me and assured me that it wouldn't happen again. Apparently the student who switched classes thinks I am mean!!! Me?? Mean??? I didn't think I was....
Thursday and Friday were a bit jumbled because I had to take students to get their IDs. All but two classes got theirs, so I am going to have to figure something out for next week. I don't want to lose whole class periods again! Perhaps I well send a few at a time!!! Anyway, I had the students produce a writing sample in order for me to judge where they are in the writing process. I was surprised at how much the students wrote...most went over the maximum length I had set! I was also surprised at the lack of students who knew what perspiration and optimistic meant!!!!
During this writing exercise I asked the students about things they wanted to work on this year when it came to writing. Most said, learning new vocabulary, working on introductions and conclusions as well as gammar/punctuation. One student chimed in, " I want to learn cursive!!" Puzzled, I said to her, "Didn't you learn that in elementary school." She quickly replied, "No!!" It seems to me cursive writing is OUT of the curriculum at some schools! Who knew?!?!
Overall, the students are great! Some have some issues with excessive talking, but hopefully we can solve that problem with a seating chart or two!
I have been getting up at 5 a.m. every morning and have struggled to make it past 9 p.m. every night! Hopefully I can tonight!!!
Stay tuned to find out how week two goes!