Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Devotion to my students
Today was the start of another school year. Technically, the teachers started school on Monday, but this was the first day with students, which is why I consider it the actual start of the school year. School isn't school without the students. Even though I've taught at this school for four years now, I still get nervous about the start of school. This year I was even more nervous because we had so many changes going on.
We have a new schedule. The past four years we've been on a block schedule, which meant that I only saw my classes every other day. But this year I'll have the same classes every day for nine weeks. That doesn't sound bad until I remember that I used to have a bad day of classes and a good day of classes on block scheduling. With the same classes meeting every day, what if my nine weeks ends up being on long bad day of classes!?!
We have a new math teacher. For some reason, our school has a really hard time keeping math teachers for more than a year. This is our third new math teacher in three years. Not such a good record. It's not that I don't like her, it's that I don't know her yet. And I've always been more comfortable with the known than the unknown. But I'm definitely excited to see how she works with the students and to help her out along the way since I'm not one of the "oldest" teachers in the building (obviously based on experience at the school, not on age).
We have a bunch of new students. This comes from the fact that we had a really big graduating class (for our school) last year and from the fact that we raised the number of students we're accepting because we have a new staff member! We added a Spanish teacher this year who will rotate between the two schools opposite of the PE/Health teacher. This will be an awesome addition to our program and should (fingers crossed) bring our class sizes down a little bit too. But again, I've always been more comfortable with the known than the unknown, so new students are always harder for me. That's one of the things I love about teaching at my school - that I get to teach the same students year after year. I just have to remember that some of my favorite students (I know, I'm not supposed to have favorites) were new students just a few years ago.
And I apologize for the excessive amount of parentheses I used in that last paragraph. I'll try not to make it a habit...