Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And so it begins

Tomorrow I report bright and early for the official start of the 2008-2009 school year. The students come on Thursday. I was in today for seven hours and accomplished maybe 1/10 of what I had wanted to do.

It was almost surreal being back in the classroom and seeing how fast the time goes. I suppose this is one reason I really enjoy my job. It totally engrosses me, to the point where I wish time would stop so I could do what needs to be done. I honestly enjoy about 90 percent of the responsibilities that the job entails. The other 10 percent? A topic for a future post.

One new thing I am doing for the start of school is providing students with a "map" of my classroom. It will explain where everything is, from the electric pencil sharpener and printer to the hand sanitizer and tissues. On the back of this illustration will be FAQs about the class. It will contain some procedures, reminders about the grading system, homework, weekly quizzes, etc.

I want it to be informative and user-friendly, unlike the syllabi and teacher expectations guide we are required to distribute, which I find too dense and verbose for students who are inundated with paperwork the first few days back.

Hopefully it will answer their questions, put them at ease, and allow them to focus on their assignments, as they're going to have a lot of work to do! (And, alas, so will I.)


Midwest Teacher said...

I like your idea about the map of your classroom. I hope that works well for you and that you have a good frist day!

Mr. B-G said...

Thanks midwest. The first two days went well. I think it's important to make clear your expectations and procedures on the first day, as that's what kids really want to know when they walk into your classroom. (Ooh, is that just me, or do I hear echoes of Harry Wong?)

On tap for next week? Summer reading essays, peer interview write-ups, introductions of their first quarter outside reading books, and some vocab, roots, and literary terms!

Midwest Teacher said...

Sounds like you have quite the plan. I'm hoping that I'll have more of my plan nailed down soon. Oy. Congrats on the first few days going well!

Mr. B-G said...

Thanks. It certainly helps to have taught the same classes for three years in a row.

It also helps to know your students and what they are capable of.

Routines and procedures are so important. Without them, it's difficult for learning to occur. One of the greatest challenges of a new teacher is establishing systems that work for both you and the students.

Be creative. Try. Fail. Reflect. Adapt.
Be creative. Try. Succeed.

It's a (sometimes) vicious cycle, but it's the only way for true growth.