Back to School – Student Edition
I got my classroom as ready as can be despite the lack of computers and at 7:25 Monday morning we were off and running the marathon that is the 2015-16 school year. My schedule is nicely arranged so I have one each of Creative Writing, Journalism, and English 11 each day.
I’ve adjusted some of my routines because I now have students for the second or third time and I have many in two of my three courses so there’s a familiarity. We know one another and for the students, some are genuinely delighted to be back in my room. Others have immediately fallen into old habits, which will need to be broken and quickly.
Creative Writing on B days contains 5 students sectioned as Advanced Creative Writing, so I have prepped them a separate syllabus and have given them other activities while I cover the raw basics with the newbies. In Journalism, I have two J-2 students and will work with them now and then, having them act as my editors when we begin generating copy for the school paper, which should start next week.
The electives are filled with students assigned to fill out the schedule and I can only hope they diligently do the work and not disrupt things out of boredom. I also hope the enthusiasm of those wanting to be in those classes rubs off, even a little.
Oddly, we had a fire drill this afternoon. You’d think we’d get through one A-B cycle before disrupting things but it was not meant to be. Given my new location, it was as much practice for me as it was for the students.
The room itself works. It’s spacious and I suspect will continue to feel that way even when the computers arrive. While we don’t have all the tech working in perfect harmony, we at least have workarounds for most of what we need to do in there.
Being on the main floor is definitely different and I very much miss having my peers beside me. As it is, I now have to leave their company earlier before the first class and during our lunch break so I am in the new room, projector ready, for when they arrive. The extra walking back and forth is fine with me but I did not anticipate the sense of separation.
Our principal did a walk-through yesterday and seemed pleased with the brief bit she saw. The new department chair dropped in this afternoon as well and was equally satisfied.
I think the true test comes in a week or so when the newness wears off and the work deepens and the homework mounts. Thanks to federal and Jewish holidays, after two solid weeks we then have three four-day weeks but at least there’s a sense of rhythm and consistency.
Summing it up: so far, so good.