The English Teacher

August 31, 2006, 8:45 pm
Filed under: Daily Life

Bill Amend’s Foxtrot

Fortunately, our reading list isn’t that bad.

I think.


First Day
August 28, 2006, 7:56 pm
Filed under: Daily Life

Today was the first day of class and I managed to survive it.  To be fair, though, it wasn’t that difficult.  I thought it would be extremely stressful having three classes in a row, but having the one hour for lunch in between really helped out.  My kids aren’t as bad as I feared.  Although I can see that my greatest challenge will be getting my kids to turn in their homework and caring about their grades and classes, I hope that their youth and naivete (I have mostly ninth graders) will be to my advantage.  Unfortunately, I can see that my tenth graders are going to be a handful.  First of all, there are a lot of them, and that’s going to be somewhat problematic, management-wise.  Luckily, I have another teacher in there with me so she can help me out a bit.  Having another teacher around is an unusual situation for me.  Although I’m the one who will do most of the lesson planning, she’ll be helping me teach and grade.  I’d like to have more of her input on the grading, but it’s hard to get together to collaborate because of our schedules.  Hopefully, we can work something out soon. 

It was a good and tiring day.

Orienting myself
August 11, 2006, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Daily Life

Yesterday and today were two days of orientation for all the new teachers in the district and I have to say, it’s hard getting used to this schedule.  It almost feels like I’m a student again!  Oh for the days of youth when I had the energy to attend 8 hours of school.  But unfortunately, years of slacking off studying diligently in college and grad school have taken their toll on me.  After all, it’s not as if I’ve had to sit through eight straight hours of class in either of my post-secondary pursuits.  In a way, student teaching was a bit of a shock to my system as well.  But, I was not a student, then.  I was the teacher and I had certain class periods where I did not have to be in the classroom and this sort of served as a break.

Anyway.  So today was the second day of orientation.  All in all, this whole thing isn’t that bad.  It is pretty necessary and useful to learn the expectations of the school district.  One thing, though, that I was a bit surprised, and even a little displeased, by was the restrictions placed on texts that could be taught in the classroom.  Unless the novel is on the approved list, it cannot be taught.  This is a bit sad since I can’t pull in as many multicultural texts as I want.  Instead, I’m stuck using poems and short stories written by minority authors instead of full-length novels.  Also, if I want to do some independent reading with my students, I have to make sure that the books the students choose are on the library-approved list.  i don’t know, but this sort of smells like censorship to me.  Without becoming too seditious, I would like to teach the students to explore various texts outside of the classroom, even those that haven’t been approved by the school or the library.

I’m still a fledgling and yet, I carry myself off like an experienced teacher.  Maybe I shouldn’t even have these types of thoughts about my new employers.  But I can honestly say that I like this area and this school district.  It’s just these two things that worry me a bit.

One other thing, there is another teacher who is new to this area, but has taught here off and on a couple of years ago.  Therefore, this is his third time going through this orientation and he lets us all know it. He constantly makes snarky remarks that he obviously thinks are clever and witty, when really, they’re obnoxious.  Also, some of the things he says about differentiating or accomodating students with special needs seem pretty careless and I worry about how he’ll treat the students who need extra help in his class.

Time for a change
August 7, 2006, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Daily Life, Future

Tomorrow afternoon, I will take off towards the East Coast with my little Toyota Corolla stuffed to the gills.  Because of a mistake on the other side, I was unaware that the new hire orientation began this Thursday until last Thursday.  Therefore, I’m scrambling to get all of my stuff ready and find a place to live.  Unfortunately, I don’t have that much money so financial matters are stressing me out, too.  I’ll have to live in an extended stay hotel until I find an actual apartment.  I’ve scouted a couple of buildings online, but they didn’t have a lot of really good (and safe) ones.  I may have to take the old-fashioned route and peruse the classifieds in the local paper.  Wish me luck.