New Teacher Training Day 2

So today was supposed to be spent discussing and working through the PLC (Professional Learning Communities) format by subject. We did a two hour overview this morning but then we were supposed to be separated by subject and grade level. The overview session was really interesting and went pretty quickly but then we separated into our groups. To begin with they had all the high school teachers in one room instead of separating us by grade level. Our deans of instruction weren’t really prepared because they didn’t even realize that we had all been intentionally locked out of our grade book software. I was unimpressed that they were so unknowledgeable and unprepared to help us. I wasn’t looking forward to spending the whole day discussing PLC but at the same time I also didn’t intend on having my time wasted. After the grade book issue they let us go ahead and go to the high school to get our room keys and check out our rooms. Of course I got my key yesterday and my room is almost done because of the work I put in last week. So basically from 11am until 1 am I had nothing to do. I hadn’t brought the rest of the stuff for my room because we were supposed to be on the other campus all day. Then we met with our principal at 1pm and he only talked with us for about 30 minutes and then we were given more time in our rooms. I honestly felt like everything after the first session this morning was a complete waste of time. I completely understand why we do teacher in-service but I would prefer them to respect my time and communicate effectively enough that I can make plans. Today was a waste for me and now tomorrow is convocation. I know that tomorrow will be really crazy because all the regular teachers start back tomorrow.

New Teacher Training Day 1

So today I started EDIT which is my new district’s version of new teacher training. It may come as a surprise to those in other professions but when you go from one job to another in the education field you are required to attend new teacher training. As far as training goes it went pretty smoothly. I got my picture taken for my ID, got my room keys today, and I even got my teacher chrome book. Needless to say I am off to a pretty good start since I took the initiative and spent one day last week working on my room. My room is almost complete and I am feeling pretty good about my abilities after watching all the brand new teachers today. I had forgotten what it was like to be completely new to the profession. Being around a bunch of new teachers made me feel extremely lucky to be in my position because although I am teaching two new subjects this year, I know how to teach. Tomorrow we are slated to spend the majority of the day working in our PLC’s which should be interesting and on Wednesday the whole staff joins the mix. So far I feel like my twelfth year is off to a pretty good start.

New Job

So I wasn’t necessarily looking for a new job but my boyfriend convinced me to apply in his district because they had some openings that would allow me to teach Pre-Ap students rather than the lower level students I have been teaching for the last year. I have wanted to teach higher level students for a long time but I haven’t had the opportunity. I had an interview with the principal and administrators at the regular high school and although it was a good interview I didn’t hear anything from them. The same day as my first interview I also met the principal of their Early College Program. He also wanted to talk to me about a job so we set up an interview for a couple of days later. The second interview went even better than the first and the principal told me at the end of the interview that he was really interested in me. Several hours later he called me and offered me the job. I am actually really excited because it means that I will not only get to teach higher level students next year, but I will also be switching from English to History. I will now be teaching World Geography and World History. I have never taught either of these subjects but I am thoroughly excited about the new challenge.

My only concern right now is that in order to sign my new contract I have to resign from my current job. I’ll admit I have never had to do that before and I am a bit nervous about it. I think that everything will be fine but it is still a bit scary.

10-10-1

As I was listening to Rachel Hollis’ new book, Girl Stop Apologizing, on the way home today, she was talking about how to set a goal for your life. She said the first step is to think about what your life will look like in ten years. Then she said to think of ten dreams that would come true for your life to look the way you want it to. Finally you choose one goal to focus on first to get that ideal life. She calls this 10-10-1. I found this whole process fascinating but as a teacher it is really hard to know where to start. I know that I would someday like to work on my doctorate but I also know I am not ready for that right now. I would also like to teach in a foreign country but I can’t do anything like that until after my son graduates high school. My boyfriend and I are actually working towards getting everything together to do that in a couple of years. Our first goal in making that dream happen is to get IB Certified so that we will be more marketable to International Schools. We have found a conference in Houston during October that will help us get started. I am actually relieved that I have a new focus because my Dual Credit English program will be complete once I turn in my final essay on Saturday. I pretty much have it complete but I still need to edit it. I am really looking forward to being done with this program and moving on to other things.

End of the Year Discouragement

I was quickly trying to update all my student’s grades before I came home for our much needed early release and short break. I noticed that I have so many students failing and it is already the second week of the Six Weeks. I know that every year when we get to the last six weeks it starts becoming more and more apparent just how done these students have become. I know we are all tired and that no one really wants to produce work, but it kills me that they think it is okay to just shut down when we still have five weeks of school left. I was listening to a few of my students today and they were complaining about having tests the last day of school. They whine so much about the littlest things. I don’t remember a year from 7th grade through 12th grade that we didn’t have finals the last couple of days of school. It’s not like it makes sense to come to school after you’ve finished everything.  I know from a teacher’s perspective that there is nothing worse than having to babysit students after they have taken your final. One year at my first district they tried to have this really cool field day the last day of school. We took all our finals the few days before and the students were all supposed to be able to play all day on the last day. Then of course it rained almost like a monsoon and the even got canceled. The kids still had to be at school though so teachers had to babysit students all day long. Needless to say, our school never tried anything like that again. My students are upset they are having tests but I am more upset that we don’t have early release the last day so that teachers have time to grade. This will be the first time that I’ve worked at a school that goes the full school day on the last day of school.

Today I am just thankful that I don’t have to go back to work until Tuesday. I will worry about my grades next week because my students aren’t going to ruin the time I have with my family.

Moving

So I guess you could say that my boyfriend has officially started moving in because we rented a truck today and moved his desk into my bedroom. He had already brought over his books and all the contents of his desk to my house over the course of this last week. It is very different to have an extra piece of furniture in my house. His clothes have been in my closet since spring break but the furniture is a change. We also brought his TV over and we plan to change out the TVs on Sunday night when my son gets home to help him. I finally realized today that at this point I would just rather he stay than go back and forth anymore. I was so worried at first that I needed to finish my current class before we made things official but now since I have gotten used to spending so much time with him, I just don’t really want him to leave every night anymore. I told him this afternoon that he ought to just go home tomorrow afternoon and bring the rest of his clothes home and then we could work on moving him the rest of the way in over the weekends. I am not sure yet whether or not he’s actually going to do that.

On another note, he’s also been trying to convince me to apply to his school district for next year. I really hadn’t considered leaving so I’m still not sure whether or not I want to but it might be a chance to either teach AP US History or English at the Early College School. I need to really think about it over the next couple of weeks and decide what I really want to do next year.

Changes

So I’ll be honest when I say that my whole work situation has had me up in arms. However, after attending my English Department meeting today i have come to realize that this situation is impacting all of us. I actually felt a bit selfish for being upset when I saw how overwhelmed my department head seemed to be. I wasn’t really thinking about anyone else which I should have been. I have also realized that my co-teacher was pretty stressed out as well. I am trying to make the best of a difficult situation knowing that there is really nothing I can do about it. I know that two of my classes are just going to be hell until the end of the year. I just have to grin and bear it. I at least don’t have them back to back and there are worst things that could happen than having to deal with a few disrespectful kids. I know that I will get through it and that I will survive. I have survived a lot worse in the past. I think that I have just come to realize that I am ready to teach more advanced students. I have always taught regular students and I am coming to a point in my career where I would like a new challenge. I have continued to extend my education and make myself qualified to do new things but I have yet to actually give myself an opportunity to do them. I need to start pushing myself into the positions I want to be in. I have to quit settling for less than what I really want. I am not helping my sanity or my overall happiness staying in these regular teaching jobs with the same horrible students. I know that the trends are changing and students are less respectful than they were when I first started teaching. I can’t change the way these students have been parented but I can change my attitude towards them. I don’t need to be their friend because that isn’t my job but I do need to find a way to garner the respect from them that I deserve if I am going to stay sane in this job.