It's the most wonderful time of the year! Time to go back to school!!
And if you think I'm joking, you're wrong!
I actually really look forward to this day. Don't get me wrong, I love vacation, and I especially loved this particular summer vacation, but my brain and my heart are more ready to dive into teaching than my pool at this point.
Today was our PD day, the day before the students arrive. Being new to this district, I still am impressed with how they operate their first day. The day started off with an informative meeting with the Union presidents. We're in a contract negotiation year, so it was good to hear what they had to say about that. Not too confident much is going to change, though, to be honest. After the union meeting, every single teacher in the district, from elementary through high school, were invited to a breakfast of croissants, scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon and fresh fruit. It was so delicious, but also so great to catch up with everyone and hear about their summers.
After breakfast, every teacher in the district then filed into the auditorium to hear welcome speeches from the Superintendent, School Committee and Mayor. This may seem like a small thing, but I think it's so important to know that the big-wigs are totally on our side and in this with us. We are very lucky to have a Mayor who is a former teacher, so he really gets it. Also, each building principal had to announce all of the new hires, which is always awkward for everyone, but it's a nice gesture!
Then it was time to return to our buildings and have our normal beginning of the year staff PD. You know, just a bunch of policy overviews, sign this form, report bullying, don't bully each other, usual shpeel! Though I will give it up to my principal for showing us this great video about good and bad sportsmanship of the Olympics. As you may remember, I'm a huge Olympic junkie, so she showed this video to us, and yes, I cried. Like a baby.
I also presented a very quick overview of what was happening in the math world to the staff. Originally I had a 15 minute slot to talk in, but everything went late so I got cut down to just a few minutes. The goal of my presentation was obviously to inform of all the curriculum resources available, but also to make them laugh. I just know how boring this first day can be, so I wanted to lighten the mood a bit. I think I succeeded in that.
The principal provided us all with a delicious lunch, and then it was time to work in our classrooms. Since I don't have a classroom, I used the time to organize my office and sort out all of the manipulatives and books for distribution. I walked around the school and passed out all the of supplies I had on hand. Then met with the principal and the literacy coach until 3:30. We were trying to work out the schedule for team times, data meetings and PD days. So much going on, I honestly don't know if we accomplished much, but it was great to meet again and at least have a good framework for where the rest of the year is headed.
After work, I rushed home to realize that I had dog training with my babies. Also realized I never got any training treats, so I had to quickly run out to grab those. Made it home just in time for our trainer to show up. We worked on the leave it, stay, and on your bed commands. My dogs are obviously geniuses, so they picked up on these pretty quickly!
As soon as training was over, I had to go grocery shopping with the hubs to get food for the week. We grabbed a super fast dinner at Burger King (also cheap because we had coupons). After inhaling that, I put away all the groceries and packed my lunch and his lunch for tomorrow. It is so weird to be back into this routine! I still love it. I wouldn't change a thing!
Tomorrow is the first day with kiddos, so I just popped two Tylenol PM at 8pm, so I don't suffer from the "night-before-school-starts-stay-up-all-night-with-worry" bad night of sleep!! I have about 30 more minutes until I'm dead to the world, so I'm going to finish watching American Ninja Warrior and then hit the sack!! So excited to see all those smiling faces out on the school yard tomorrow!
1) Teachers make a lot of decisions throughout the day. Sometimes we make so many it feels overwhelming. When you think about today, what is a decision/teacher move you made that you are proud of? What is one you are worried wasn’t ideal?
I'm really proud that I made the decision to share my blog with my staff. One of my goals at the beginning of this year was to be as transparent as possible, and I think sharing this blog with them is a great step. I wish that instead of cleaning out my own space, I had actually spent some time walking around and helping out the teachers when/if necessary. I kind of feel like a jerk for not doing that, but hopefully I can make up for it tomorrow!
2) Every person’s life is full of highs and lows. Share with us some of what that is like for a teacher. What are you looking forward to? What has been a challenge for you lately?
I guess I'm just all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the start of the school year, but I really have the feeling this is going to be a great year. Last year was my first year as a coach, and my first year in the building and district, so I knew nobody. Now that I have built some relationships, I'm excited to really start coaching this year. My challenges are the same as my highs though. I have only built some relationships. I'd like to build even more this year so I'm not always working with the same group of teachers.
3) We are reminded constantly of how relational teaching is. As teachers we work to build relationships with our coworkers and students. Describe a relational moment you had with someone recently.
During my quick presentation today, I talked about how much I love the MTBoS and Twitter and how it is the most valuable PLN out there. I made a quick "cheat sheet" to twitter and the MTBoS and passed out to everyone. (Thanks to Tara Dass, @chatelet0211, for sharing hers...See why Twitter and the MTBoS is the BEST?!?!) On this sheet was a list of people to follow immediately, how to tweet and use hashtags, different blogs to follow and cool math website. I figured it would be just another paper that people toss in the trash, but then...at 7:36pm I get a text from one of my staff asking for more info about Twitter and she told me that she started following everyone I recommended on that list!! HELLO!!!! YES! Mission accomplished! I'm so psyched to get her on Twitter, and interested in this blog! I just know she will be the Twitter queen in a matter of months!
4. What have you been doing to work toward your goal? How do you feel you are doing?
First step was sharing my blog address with my staff today. I even made a spinning callout star reminding them to bookmark it so they can read it. I'll have to somehow figure out a way to get them to read it each month. As far as my blogging goal, I'm right on track. I'm nervous that as the school year really kicks into high gear that I will fall behind, but I have a good cheerleader who won't let me forget.
5) What else happened this month that you would like to share?
I found out I have to have a pretty major surgery in the beginning of October. I'm really nervous and also really sad, but luckily I now have school to distract me from thinking about it until then.