Monday, January 11, 2010

Somebody lost her weave...

For real. I had just pushed my little cart into the classroom at the end of the day when a student came in and asked my department chair if he had seen the fight outside the room. When Mr. Flowers asked if it was a real fight, the young man responded,"Oh yeah, they hooking for real." (which was his way of saying 'yes')

We both stepped out into the hall to make sure it wasn't still going on, and immediately saw the remnants of the fight strewn down the hall. Right outside the door we saw 2 big hoop earrings, a shoe and (you guessed it) a handful of braids. As the students began to clear out, we saw pieces of the weave scattered about 20 feet down the hall. I feel like it was some sort of initiation; I am now officially a teacher at AHS.

Also, completely unrelated, one of my students told me that he is a vampire. I'm not sure what to do with that. Since I didn't jump on board that whole New Twilight Werewolf Vampire Moon book/movie bandwagon, I was significantly less impressed than he probably intended.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Round 2

Alright. This gig is officially more than halfway over. I was back at work today (no students, just teachers- making the whole situation deceptively pleasant). With just one day to get everything in order, the day was rushed but also fairly productive. I hardly did anything over the break to prepare for this semester and was able to have several days of absolutely no stress and complete enjoyment of the all the other parts of my life which have been neglected for the past several months.

This semester's lineup: 1st period World History with 32 students, 2nd period planning, tardy table duty with a new set of teachers (more encouragement/gossip time!), 3rd period US History with 24 students, and 4th period US History with 23 students. My schedule and student lists were changing through the end of the day today, so all of this may not be permanent. I am floating again, despite the fact that several new classrooms were opened just before the break. Most of my teacher workday was devoted to updating my posters so I can maintain my title of "Model Cart Teacher."

I am nervous/excited about my first time teaching US History. If you know me, you know American History is my favorite... not to mention that it is an 11th grade course, which generally means less behavior problems than 9th and 10th. (by 11th grade, the students that really don't want to be there are old enough to drop out) Also, the class sizes are on the lower side. It would be fabulous to keep those in the low 20s. The downside is that US History is a "high stakes" class because it is tested state-wide and it comes with a series of benchmark pre-tests and post-tests. And, unique to Avondale, the high-stakes class teachers are required to create and present 6 presentations about the results, preparation, and improvement plans for all of these benchmark tests. (a.k.a. more work which really does nothing to help the students but everything to stress out and frustrate a teacher)

Ready or not, the students come tomorrow. I feel completely unprepared, especially since I haven't been living in my house for the past week (new floors- that's another whole story). Whatever happens tomorrow, I know that the Lord has faithfully carried me through 18 weeks and that He is more than able to get me through 18 more.