Sunday, August 24, 2008

The mother of all Mondays....

Well, it's official. Summer is over. Not in the astronomical sense, but in the school starts tomorrow way.

For the first time in many years I'm actually nervous about it. It's been a long time since I've taught something that I wasn't confident about. In Jr. High I always taught PreAlgebra or Algebra, the last two years at the High School I taught computer classes (not part of NCLB), Psychology (also not part of NCLB), Algebra and the UBSCT* Prep class - which is basically all Algebra stuff. This year I have 1 semester of UBSCT* Prep, a semester of Psychology, an Algebra class and 2 Geometry classes. The last are the ones that are giving me the concerns. I've taught Geometry once, during my student teaching back in 1993. I spent a little time this summer going over the material and I know that I know it. The problem is, as any teacher can attest to, that knowing the material doesn't mean the students are going to understand your understanding of it. So I'm a little nervous. But not too nervous, because I know that it may take a few rounds with the material, but I'm pretty good at figuring out what works and what doesn't. So, I'll muddle through the first chapter or two, until my mojo gets going, and then I'll be fine. I hope. I think. I pray. No matter what it will be nice to have a little change from the same-old same-old Algebra that I've been teaching for the last 15 years. So to wrap it all up: Nervous - yes. Scared - nah. Optomistic - yuppers. Oh, and one of the nice things about the school I'm at - the biggest class I have right now has 25 students.

*UBSCT - Utah Basic Skills Competency Test. It's basically a graduation test that the state requires all students to take. Right now they can graduate whether they pass or not, but in the future they will not get a diploma if they do not pass the test. For now, if they don't pass they get "Did not pass UBSCT" stamped on their diploma. Kind of like back in the day when children born to unwed mothers had "BASTARD" stamped on their birth certificates.

14 comments:

Jannx said...

Hello Max. Good Luck on your first day of school. Tomorrow teachers here in NYC don't have to return, but I want to go in to get acclamated back to the work routine.

Again, good luck tomorrow.

A Paperback Writer said...

There are some kids who should automatically have BASTARD stamped on their diplomas, regardless of their birth status....
Just voicing my opinion there.....

Well, call DP if you need to blow off steam on geometry. She'd still let you shoot ideas off her and you know it.
I'm sure you'll do fine.
I had to teach 7th grade English last year (and this) after not having taught it in a decade. I made it. So will you. (uh, but probably not if you try teaching 7th grade English to geometry students)

Max said...

Yeah, we had all last week to start getting used to getting up at (holy cow) 5:30 in the morning again. It always helps to get over that initial shock before having to face the kids. As for Geometry, thanks for the encouragement Writer, I know I'll do ok, it's just opening night jitters is all....

A Paperback Writer said...

I'm going to bed.
I have to get up at 4:00 to do all the exercises for my back.

Funaki-naki-naki said...

You managed to teach Gibb and I all about Flash, and we were obviously total 'tards with it. :) You'll well prepared to teach Geometry!

PS...I like the BASTARD stamp idea. A lot.

A Paperback Writer said...

Thanks. :)

DP said...

I know you will be a fine geometry teacher. You relate to kids so well.

Listen: come to a party at my house; Sept 6th--5 PM. It is actually the backyard wedding of my youngest son, but it promises to be a GREAT party. Paperbackwriter is coming so coordinate with her.
DP

Max said...

DP - thanks for the compliment, coming from you it means a lot (you are, by far, the best Math teacher I've ever worked with, and I've had the pleasure of working with some damn fine math teachers). I've met both classes now, and I think it's going to go pretty good, although I may try to steal some good activities from you. (wink, wink). I'll give Writer a call, I've got the party at your house penciled in for 5pm on the 6th of September. It'll be great to see you all again. And I'm going to try to revive "Fat Cat Friday's" again, those were always fun.
Writer - wanna go to a party with a successful, sexy, funny, available bachelor? Yeah, like the unicorn, they're just a myth. But we could carpool out to DP's for the wedding if you want.

A Paperback Writer said...

Funny thing is: I was contemplating asking you to go to the wedding with me, but then I thought, "No, her backyard is only so big, and there'll be a ton of people there. She's probably got it right down to the number."
Then DP tells me today she's arranged for you and me to go together.
Hey, and I'd still call you a sexy, funny, successful, available batchelor.
Yup, it's a deal. We need to chat and work out details. Probably should go a bit early so we can park within a 2 -mile radius of the house.
If you want, I can drive so that you don't have to worry about whether or not to sample the beverages -- since it's not an issue with me.

And, is it just me, or has blogger suddenly decided to put microscopic print on all the comment pages? Holy crap. This is tiny. Good thing I'm not too far-sighted yet because my reading glasses are still in Scotland.

Max said...

Ok, Writer, it's a deal. And I'll even take you up on the driving thing. I don't plan on getting plastered, but it will be nice not having to do all that math figuring out exactly how much I can have without having to call a cab..... I'll call you or you call me sometime next week and we can work out the details.

A Paperback Writer said...

Yeah, I kinda figured that'd be good. Besides, I know where DP's house is, too.

A Paperback Writer said...

Oh, and as long as you a) don't embarrass me in public and b) don't barf in my car, I really am not too worried about how much you decide to drink.
Oh, don't pass out either; I'm sure as heck not gonna carry you anywhere.
:)

Max said...

It's been 30 years since I've drank enough to either pass out or barf in someone's car. As for the public embarassment, I can't even promise that when I'm sober....

A Paperback Writer said...

Actually, you've only succeeded in embarrassing me once. So far.
And I'm sure your liver thanks you for not exceeding reason on your drinking. But enough of that. (It was supposed to be a joke anyway.)