I cant't believe that we have been in school for a month now. I feel like I am still trying to get myself organized and set up. This year I moved to a new school in a new county and am LOVING it so much!! It's amazing the difference from one school to the next. I have an amazing grade level team who has been so supportive of the newbie. The rest of the staff is just so friendly and willing to help. And my parents are so appreciative for me being their child's teacher. I have gotten a handful of emails from parents saying how blessed they are to have me as their child's teacher, and how dedicated I am in their child's learning. Here is a small piece of an email I received:"I enjoyed the open house at the Fuller Magnet school earlier this week. It has been very informative and we are thrilled to see the progress S-- has demonstrated since joining your class as well as your commitment to continue to excelling in the formation of the future generation. We truly appreciate your hard work and dedication in making S-- a better person, a smarter person." How can you not feel so blessed with emails like that. Being part of this school so far has made me feel like I am doing a great job and making me more confident in my teaching.
On big adjustment that has been hard beleive it or not is not being able to go to school on the weekends. Yes I went to my other school almost every Sunday and I loved it because I would prepare myself for the whole week and wouldn't have to worry about anything during the week. It was so nice and stressfree. But not this year. :( It's also been hard because school truly starts at 9:20, they arrive between 8:45-9:15, and the last bus usually leaves around 4:15. I am usually staying til 6-6:30 cleaning up and getting ready for the next day since 3 of the days we have to be at school at 7:45 for staff meetings. The days are just so long and I feel like I am still so unorganized and not unpacked completely. It's such a streeful feeling. Luckily today was a teacher work day and I was able to do a little bit in my room and this Saturday they are opening the building from 9-12 so I can go in and organize my life and prepare for next week. Today I sported my Blogger T-shirt I got from A+ Designs.
Another big adjustment has been the lesson planning and assesssments. This county focuses a lot more on writing lesson plans using SIOP and requires 3 assessment grades for a majority of the standards. Talk about being stressed out! As a team we plan out our week by each taking one subject to plan for the week. We have a google doc that we input the lesson plans so that we can view and print it whenever we need it. It helps also not having to plan for everyhing. Also our county uses CMAPP which lays out the curriculum for us with lesson plans for the standards day by day with resources. This does definitely take a lot of the stress off our shoulders, but I do tweak it to match my teaching style. CMAPP also has assessments for us to give for the math standards, but my kids are really struggling with these and I am worried. Luckily it is not only my class, which makes me feel good, but I feel like we are throwing too much at them and expecting them to explain their reasoning for everything. I really feel for this kids and I wish we could give assessments that just show if they can do it or not.
One thing that is new this year for me that I am loving so much is my classroom blog. I created a blog right before school started to be able to post things for my parents to hear about and see what is going on in the classroom. They are loving it so far and so am I. I post about once or twice a week and always post upcoming events. Today I actually posted a sneak peek into the classroom, showing my parents a few of the things we have been doing in the classroom. If you would like to take a look feel free!! I have also sent home a release form giving me permission to post pictures of my students working and many are coming back agreeing that I can post on the site and use it for educational purposes. I can't wait to post more pictures of them working. Click on the image below to view our clasroom blog.
Look for a post tomorrow about some of the things I posted on my classroom blog. I promise I will start posting more since I did fall off the grid for a while.