Saturday, August 24, 2013

Welcome back, ready for change?

This is the start of my 9th year of teaching at my school (which happened to be my FIRST teaching job out of college).  I love my school, the kiddos, and my fellow Specialists (Humanities, Library, Music and P.E.  I like to call them my "Arts Department").  What I don't love is change.  I know it happens.  But that doesn't mean I need to like it.  Since I started we've been through three Principals and four and a half assistant Principals.  I say "half" because at one point we were between "official" administrators and had a retired Principal come and fill in for a bit.  We've gone from a year round school schedule to a nine month.  So change happens at my school, a lot.  It's for the good, most of the time, but still.  Not nice.  That leads to the new school year...
"Every student, every classroom, without exception, without excuses."
Our first official day of the school year with students was August 26th.  Teachers reported the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday beforehand.  Those first three days were full of change: learning lots of new teacher names and figuring out our new Principal.  Half, if not more, of our staff left at the end of last school year for greener pastures so there were quiet a few new faces.  We got a few from other schools in district and a few from out of state, which is typical I guess.  So now I have to learn new names, okay fine.  We also learned what the Specials' schedule was (SOMETHING relevant!).  Yay!  But wait, more change...
I go from a nice schedule with five 50 minute classes (three in the morning, 30 minute duty free lunch, 15 minute lunch duty, 50 minute prep, two more classes, 10 minute after school duty) to a six day rotation (A-F days) teaching six classes a day...WHAT!?  Forty minute prep first thing, three classes, 30 minute lunch, 3 more classes and 10 minutes after school duty.  There are also two random 50 minute blocks where I don't have a class to total my prep time to the required 250 minutes.  This rotation thing looks scary, is this set in stone? (yup, pretty much)  Oh well, we'll make do.  I think the "Arts Department" all thought this would be okay, but looking at it a little more closely we realized that we saw the kiddoes six less times than we would on the old schedule...that's not good, that's basically my clay unit right there or the Music teacher's Holiday program.  Yes, the Monday/Friday classes wouldn't be SOOO far behind because of holidays and staff development days, but we always made do and managed to finish what we needed to.
Not so scary...I think!?
Oh well, we'll see how a few rotations go, thank goodness the first month is Rules, Procedures and Introductions to Art Media...

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