Thursday, September 2, 2010

First day survival! WOO HOO!

I have survived the first day! It was actually quite fun. After my feelings of complete inadequacy yesterday, I was greatly relieved that today was so fun! I guess I will just give the full on play-by-play of the day so it is possible to get a full picture!

I got picked up today at 7:50 (I KNOW! WHAT? It is SOOOO late compared to CBMS!) by my Head of Science. It was nice to get a ride so that I wasn’t completely sweaty when I got to school in my dress clothes- my NEW clothes I should mention which was half the fun of it being the first day of school. At 8:30 we have a staff briefing in the teacher’s lounge/mailbox room (they call them pigeon holes). Apparently, there are a few teachers who don’t like email so we have our announcements done in person every morning. This is just humorous to me after hearing that CBMS has moved past email and only uses google docs.

So, today being the first day of school meant that on the Year 7 and Year 12 classes came first thing. This is because the Year 7 kids are new to the school and the Year 12 kids are starting “Sixth Form” which is an optional level of school if you want to attend university. The Year 12’s have all chosen to be at Chesham Park and they choose which 3-4 subjects they take because they have taken exams in every subject the previous year. The exams after Year 11 are called GCSE exams. See why I cried from all of the lingo and acronyms? And, I even knew what Sixth Form and GCSE’s were before getting here!

Because I am a Year 12 Form Tutor (Homeroom Advisor) I had to meet with the whole Year 12 group for their orientation. I believe there are about 60 kids in the sixth form and they are split into three groups. They do not have to wear uniforms and have their own area of the building with a lounge, computer lab, and some study areas. As you might guess, a bunch of 17 year olds on their first day of not wearing uniforms were not exactly following the dress code. They are expected to wear business attire and there were some in clothes that would really only be business attire if streetwalking was their job! Ha!

After two periods with them where we filled out paperwork and took attendance (registration it is called here), I had my first science class. My first class was Year 10 science. They are the top science kids and have my class 5 periods per week. All we really did today was go over “the one rule” and did “Headlines” about ourselves. Tomorrow I have them again, twice, and we will start content. I have made a bunch of graphic organizers for their first few days of class so at least that is all organized. They are only 14-15 year olds so they were still relatively acquiescing to everything I asked them to do. I, of course, had a few kids who’s names I already know after only meeting them for a 50 minute class- there are always a few in every class who are likely to be complete turds! I will work on building a relationship with them straight away to hopefully combat that!

Then, we have school-wide lunch. All of the little Year 7 kids (who are only 11) looked SO lost and I felt sad that I couldn’t help them because I am equally lost! Everyone in the science department eats together in our office, which is connected to my room since there really isn’t time to go anywhere else in the building. But, it is nice to have people to eat with and not be like a new kid in the cafeteria wondering where to sit.

After lunch, I had my Year 11 class. There are about 35 kids in the class and they were rowdy, loud, and not that interested in school today. I think my high school teacher friends would be proud of my classroom management today with all those crazy high school kids! There were two boys sitting next to each other who were absolutely unable to follow any directions and were rudely chatting the entire time I was trying to speak. During my first short work time, I did a full-on Love and Logic move! I “bent ever so slightly at the waist, looking to side, whispered that one of them needed to find a new seat, assumed compliance, and walked away!” Nobody even noticed that I whispered to them, I did a circuit of the room and by the time I got back to them, one had packed up and moved to the new desk. No muss. No fuss. Kinda bitchy! Go me! I don’t have to see Year 11 kids for two weeks because they have job shadow. Glad to not have to be that “on” until they come back.

My last class of the day was my absolute favorite. They were Year 7 kids and they are SO cute! Imagine all of our sixth graders but in a suit. They were wide-eyed, nervous, and asking one million questions about things like writing with a pen or pencil, using the back of the paper, etc. They were delightful and did a great job with the “one rule” and “living above the line.” They were really excited that the homework I assigned them was just to tell their families about those two items. When I said to them that I have them three times a week and another teacher only one time, one little girl went, “yessssssss!” under her breath. So adorable.

Last of the day, the Year 12 kids come back for 10 minutes to check in. Some of the girls were quite nice and were very concerned that I survived my day okay! I am going to like being their Form Tutor, I think.

I stayed at school until about six but since we don’t get out until 3:20, I wanted to get as prepared as possible for next week so I didn’t have to do as much over the weekend- or really- so I can plan for the week after next over this weekend and try to stay a week ahead. The problem for me is that I am an idiot and don’t know how to do any labs with chemicals. Fortunately the assistants will help me because otherwise I’d be doing some random mixing which is never good.

I have more Year 7 kids tomorrow. I can’t wait! I am definitely a middle school teacher at heart. Tomorrow I will meet my Year 9 kids and see my Year 10 kids twice. I have one period off tomorrow which is delightful because this is a crazy race every day I am starting to feel already!

I also made a FRIEND!! YAYAYAY! Another new teacher is living in my town, right by where I live! So, we are going to happy hour it up after school tomorrow with everyone and then walk home together! Yay for new friends! I get really excited when I have new phone number to add into my phone. Feel like less of a loser! J

So, disregard the tears of yesterday, today was good day and I am hoping that tomorrow is as well. Tomorrow I will actually teach some science so we’ll see. Sorry this has been so long, I’m not offended if you haven’t even made it to this point, but I just wanted to share the full story.


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy that you had a great day, Liz!! Love reading about all your kids and can't wait to hear more! xoxo AS

Miscellaneous Q Productions said...

I'm so happy you made it through your first day and love it so much! I can't wait to hear lots more!



Angela said...

What a fantastic recounting of what sounds like a very successful first day. So glad you made a friend. In the end, that is all that really matters:-) You really should write a book. I know it is cliche, but whenever I read your blogs I hear "we don't need no education" over and over in my head.

Megan said...

Yeah Liz! I knew you would have a wonderful day...and getting the kids make you feel like you are home again! I also knew it wouldn't take you long to make a are like the most social person I know! Hee used 'straight away'. Miss you!

prernatutors said...

hi i like the blog very much.

courtney said...

Yay, sounds like everything went well! Great to read about all this.

BTW, when I started reading the "I 'bent ever so slightly at the waist...'" sentence, I totally thought you were going to say you did the "bend and snap" from Legally Blonde!!!

:) C

Paula said...

Love your writing style, Ms. Liz. I can't imagine keeping up with all of the acronyms and numbers, much less with which kid is coming on which day. And then having to deal with chemicals on top of that? Not a safe scene. That was a bold move with the two boys. You've got 'em figured out.