Year 13 Begins

The next few weeks are going to be very hectic for me. I return to work on August 1 and students arrive on August 8. I will be working on getting my classroom set up and planning my first quarter. One of the challenges that I am (very) excited to face is the implementation of 1:1 technology. For those of you who aren’t knowledgeable in educationese, it means that all of my students will have netbooks and the use of textbooks will be limited. The transition will be fairly easy for me because I don’t generally use the textbook anyway and I had a classroom set of netbooks in my classroom next year. I still have to plan and plan and plan (it makes my brain happy). I’ve decided to take my teaching a step further and make my class inquiry based. It is a big step for me because I give up some of the control that I am used to. Thing is, the kids are fully engaged when you give them a choice.

Another challenge that I face is the fact that I will have to work with new people this school year. Because of teacher movement, half of freshman level teachers are brand new to the school. Some are even brand new to teaching. I love that we have fresh ideas, but I am also sad because our group last year worked well together. They knew me and my quirks. They didn’t get upset when I would hide in my room because I needed alone time. Plus, I get terribly shy and anxious when working with new people. I’m either silent or have diarrhea of the mouth and say the stupidest things! Time to retrain everyone (myself included).

One of the aspects of teaching that I love is mentoring new teachers. I like offering them support and helping them make it through the first few years. Teaching is hard and if you don’t have support, you’ll never make it. True words, those. I’ve already met one of our brand new baby teachers (term of endearment, btw). My first impression of him was that he was T.A.L.L. I have no idea how tall he is, but I had to twist my neck to talk to him. He’s an Algebra teacher, but I won’t hold it against him. (J/K. I love my mathmagician friends. They astound me.) It was exciting to hear his ideas for next year. He is so fresh and so hopeful. I want to help him keep some of that as the year progresses.

I went into work yesterday to get the keys to my classroom. Usually I don’t go into work this far in advance. However, I have a new classroom.

I know! First a new principal then new teachers and now a new classroom. Doesn’t anyone understand my brain?!?!

I have 12 years of teacher stuff. At the end of May, I had to sort through scads and scads of resources to determine whether or not I needed them anymore. I ended up getting rid of/recycling 8 big black garbage bags of things I hadn’t used in a long time. I didn’t realize how cathartic it would be to get rid of so much. Even though I pared down my resources, I still had to pack them up to be moved to my new room.

Here it is, in its natural state:

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Before I can even think about planning or the other hundreds of things teachers do at the beginning of the new year, I have to unpack. Things just don’t work unless I’ve got my little nest set up. The room is so much bigger than my previous one AND it has more storage. You know what the best feeling is, though?

I don’t have enough stuff to fill up the storage space! I don’t feel completely overwhelmed with things. Maybe this will help me in the next school year. I’ll have space to breathe.

This year is looking up already!

Oh, don’t worry, I’ll post my classroom when it is finished. I know ya’ll were skeered that I’d forget to show you the beauty of it. =)

8 thoughts on “Year 13 Begins

  1. What a fun space – can’t wait to see what you do with it! I’m also intrigued by your 1:1 tech… How do you keep the netbooks from walking away? I can’t even keep a classroom set of calculators intact for an entire school year!?!

    I would like to think of teachers as a little more forgiving of social awkwardness than perhaps the general public is? I know that I found myself nodding in agreement with the “dealing with new people” part… You’ll do great – they’ll LOVE you!

    (Also – tallness is a prereq for us math teachers… Just saying. *grin*)

    • I’ve never lost a netbook. Part of it is the fact that I am retentively vigilant. Another part is the fact that my kids respect me– it helps so much. They also like using them, so they don’t want to lose the privilege. They are also bigger than calculators! They don’t fit in a backpack easily. This year is different, though. Every freshman has his/her own laptop that goes with them to every class and home. It is their responsibility to keep them running and charged. My upcoming kiddos have had their netbooks for two years so I don’t even have to train them! Woot! My district made a choice to purchase them instead of updating textbooks and they got a grant. I love using them and would hate to go back to using only textbooks as resources. Between the netbooks and the Common Core standards, my creative teaching brain is completely thrilled!

      I don’t know if I am *really* socially awkward (I love spelling that word) or if I just perceive myself as such. It is so difficult to say. I do take a very long while to let people see my true self– the one that has a quip for everything and is a HUGE nerd. It is amazing how many of my colleagues don’t get that. Or maybe I just perceive that they don’t get that. Huh… I guess I need to do a brain check again. =)

  2. Love the classroom baby. It’s big, and roomy, and spacious, and…. I think you get the idea. 🙂

  3. Good luck on the upcoming new year, Elizabeth! I’m very excited for you! The space appears very cool—and like it has a ton of potential as well!

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