Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3rd - A School Day To Remember

I need to pause for a moment and just soak up how nearly perfect today has been. Nearly perfect despite waking up pretty tired after three days of sleeping in and a morning where I didn't think I'd get everything done at work due to the school world all trying to make copies.

But the day really was amazing. I started my day with a 7:30am meeting with one of my department chairs. This particular person is also my evaluator and was the one who saw part of the debate my students did on Friday in Economics. Let me tell you, that debate. That one that I wasn't sure about...it went BETTER THAN any student-driven lesson I've ever done.

To clue you in on that day (since I alluded to it in my previous post) it began at 5:30am with over 400 students on the football field awaiting the flyover of a local news helicopter. We were to form three different phrases on the field for three different flyovers to promote the beginning of the fall sports season. The school day begins at 7:45am and around 9:20 there was an impromptu pep assembly. My Debate was to begin at 10am and I was already nervous about the amount of energy (high or low) my Econ kids would have by that time of the morning. Turns out I had nothing to be concerned about. They listened patiently (mostly) as each side gave their opening arguments and points. Almost all but five students were fully involved. And by the time rebuttals were over these amazing students had pulled a ton of quotes from their packets into their arguments, books from English class (Outliers was the number one book applied) and personal life experiences. The team for Capitalism rapped their closing statement and tossed Monopoly money in the air at the finish. I wanted to cry.

Turns out my evaluator did, too. She is not in the classroom this year due to taking on other duties and misses it, so that was her reason. But she also told me the bit of the debate she had witnessed was among the top she had ever seen done in her years of evaluating teachers. I knew it had gone well. I didn't realize it was that great!

Those of you who are not teachers may not know how much prep goes into doing something like a debate. Even if it takes just two class periods, I probably put four hours into finding supporting documents (capitalism and socialism) to have kids use as sources, develop rubrics for the group and for each individual and then edit anything I might find to tailor it to my particular class of students at the time. Then there is the making copies and after all is said and done, grading the rubrics and students' own reflections/evaluations. Hours of work for just three hours of class time.

So that is how I began my day. After my meeting I had about one hour to enter a few lingering grades, figure out how to actually be sure my gradebook was set up correctly for progress reports due at 3:30pm (the popup box wouldn't show) and then make copies of a packet I worked about four hours on for my Econ class this week. The copier was booked solid for about 30 of those minutes. I checked three times and there was always a line. I finally caved at 25 minutes to the next bell to just get my job logged into the machine and wait for it. Thankfully I had about 10 minutes to go before the bell to pack my bag and be ready to travel to the next two classrooms before lunch.

I had a meeting after school for an hour and then made sub plans for the periods I am missing tomorrow due to new teacher meetings (didn't know teachers had so many meetings, did you?). Then a problem-free drive home, walk with the dog and finally my first relaxation moment of the day.

Then came the cap on an already lovely day. I opened my mail to find not just one gift card I thought I was expecting from a utilities promotion but two! I don't know if I should have received two, but I'm taking it. My amazing rep had told me he'd try and get me another gift card. He must have been able to make it work. Talk about customer service!! (AT&T, thank you! I might as well give you a plug).

I'm once again nestled onto the couch with my pj's on and ready to watch my hour of tv. (Who Do You Think You Are, one of my fave shows). I could have brought home more grading but life should also come before work and if I get just two hours of free time in my day, then I am going to set aside late work and make up work and keep my two hours to myself.

I'm so thrilled with the start of my school year. I really, really know this is special. I am sure some rough patches will occur. I'll try and give you a glimpse of these points, but I don't often dwell on the negatives but focus on the positives that result from all things. Glass half full.

I'll leave you with a few images from Friday morning's flyover. Enjoy your week folks!

1 comment:

  1. You were meant to be at this new school! You will provide a positive impact on your students here too! So happy to see and hear you so happy! Obviously the kids are learning from you already!