Friday, August 19, 2011

Week One, without the students.

Week one went great, I think I’m going to like the people I’m working with.

This is not an exaggeration, in the 4 days we’ve been at the school I’ve gotten to know more people at my new school better than in the 2 years at my last one.  Not that there weren’t a few there that I got to know very well in the 2 years, but this week I’ve had almost a dozen long conversations with teachers I didn’t know before about personal things (not real personal, but get-to-know-you kind of stuff).

The Business department head, who I’m working with because of my Keyboarding class, has dropped by my classroom every day on the way to hers to say HI and chat for a while.

I’ve bonded with the English teacher right next door to me over music, crazy antics of the kids, food and the level of our voices.

Laughed hard with one of the Science teachers over her 5 year old son getting a bead stuck on his tooth on Wednesday.  (He wanted to be a pirate, black bead made him look like he was missing a tooth.  And he almost ended up actually missing it).

Another English teacher and I discovered that we both have similar career paths.  My first career was in the pizza business, became a teacher in my 30’s.  He was a waiter until about the same time.  We both started thinking about another career because we got tired of working nights, weekends and holidays, wanted some kind of sick leave and retirement.   Both of us were substitute teachers before deciding we liked it enough to go back and get our degrees.

Had another Math teacher leave a Pre-Algebra book written in Spanish for me with a note that said “Happy Birthday”.

Most of the schools I’ve worked at have been this way.  My second school, the one Writer is at and the one where my current principal first hired me at, I felt at home immediately.  I rarely felt like I was “out of the loop”, and when I did someone was always willing to explain.

The third school I worked at I was the center of a group hug at the first faculty meeting.  (They had “Rob’s Wheel o’ Fun”, a big Wheel of Fortune type thing where three or four of the places it could land said “Group Hug”.  My first spin of the wheel landed there.)

My fourth school had only 15 faculty members, it was hard to form too many cliques with that small a group.  That and you add the fact that we were in a school fighting for it’s life (in the end we lost), you tend to get a group that bonds quickly.

I won’t say much more about my last school, numero cinque, except that it wasn’t the same.  I will say that there were one or two other faculty members that I truly bonded with, people that I plan to stay in touch with.

We had the seventh grade orientation on Wednesday evening, where all the seventh graders and their parents were invited to an assembly and then to go around to all their classes and meet the teachers.  From what I saw, I think I’m going to have a great year (knock on wood).

So, here’s to Monday.  5:30 AM is damn early, but I think I’m ready for it.


Alexia said...

It sounds as if you're going to be very happy there, Max!

(by the way: in this country you can't even be a substitute teacher unless you are fully registered i.e. you must have your degree)

Hope the kids prove to be as pleasant as the staff :)

A Paperback Writer said...

I have Rob's daughter this year.
I knew she was coming and that he'd requested our team (professional courtesy and all that -- we let "our own" choose which team their kids are on, and you KNOW he wanted his girl to have me and DP), as I'd run into him a couple of times. So, when I saw him at Meet The Teachers night for the sevvies, I gave him a big ol' bear hug. I guess his daughter saw that because yesterday morning, at our seventh-grade only day at school, when she saw me in the hallway, she threw her arms around me and gave me a bear hug. It was cute.
I'm so glad you're off to a good start. We got several new people this year, and, so far, they all seem great.
Say hi to the drama teacher for me. He's a great guy.

Max said...

Alexia - The few I met on the seventh grade orientation seemed like nice kids. You know there's always the few that will drive you crazy, but overall I think I'm going to like them.
Writer - I'll tell him you said hi, be sure to tell Rob I said hello the next time he comes by.

Carmi said...

You're way more than ready. Your experiences remind me so much of my wife's: Parents really ought to spend more time understanding just how deeply their teachers care, and just how much more than "work" a school can be for them. This entry sums it up rather nicely, I think!

The English Teacher said...

Good luck tomorrow. :)

Max said...

Ditto! And the same to all my teaching friends that are starting the new school year tomorrow.

A Paperback Writer said...