School, All Play and No Work?
What have I been up to?
Today, I woke up at a 7:45 this morning (which is early for me considering my schedule this summer). I showered, dressed and actually left my office before sitting down to check my hubs! Instead, I grabbed some posters and certificates and hopped in the car and drove the short 15 minute journey to The Middle School.
My classroom is in the vocational building out behind the school, so I parked my car on the curb close by. The doors were open, and a large powerful fan blocked my way. It was blowing cool morning air into the building.
I hopped the fan and went around the corner, and almost ran into my team teacher, Darcy. She had a stroller with her, carrying her 3-month-old boy, and her 8-year-old daughter was also along for the visit to the school. Darcy took me to see my room, which is huge! And completely empty.
I didn't even have a teacher's desk!
I began to panic. How was I going to teach a group of kids in this huge empty room? Forget about tables or desks for the kids, I was thinking, "Where do I sit?" My mentor from college says that the best teachers share all their space with their students (come on, they're sixth graders, get real!).
Before I could get up the courage to ask my new friend Darcy what happened to all the furniture, she introduced me to the custodians who were busy cleaning my room.
I've heard before that the most important thing you want to do when you start working at a school is make friends with the custodians and the secretaries. That way, when angry parents call the school, the secretary sticks up for you, and when sick kids puke in your classroom, the custodian comes to clean it up right away instead of taking a detour to the teacher's lounge to watch TV. Lucky for me, I already know the secretaries very well, but I hadn't met any custodians yet, so I was glad to meet Bob and--uh oh! I forgot the other custodian's name! Oh man, that's not good!
Think, think, AC~! You can remember!
Well, for now I will call him HC, because he's the head custodian (even more reason to remember his name!). HC gave me keys to my room and the main building, so I can go back whenever I want now. Even if Darcy isn't there. It's really starting to feel like this is actually happening! (I've been substituting for so long I started to feel like I'd never get out of Subville.) I have a teaching job! I'm actually going to teach sixth graders! Math and science!
And now is when the reality sets in.
I have a teaching job.... I have to teach sixth grade this year.... I have to help 60 kids learn math and science....
I have my own classroom to set up!
I have my work cut out for me!
So let's get busy!
The first week of school is seriously important. It's when the kids (especially sixth graders) learn all the rules about their new school and their new classroom. Realizing that I should have already decided what my classroom rules are, I feel behind before I've even started.
Let's start with the rules then!
1. No shoes no shirt no service
2. No feeding the pet frogs spit wads (or anything else!)
3. Treat others the way you treat your parents and hope for the best
4. Talk with your mouth shut and chew with your mouth empty
5. The teacher is always right
Phew, now that that's out of the way.... What next? Oh yes, teachers need to make sure that kids understand the routines in the room. This takes some thought. What do I want my kids to do? How can I get them to do it? Will threatening them with extra homework work, or will they realize too early that I never grade it, or collect it, or even assign it?
Let's get back to basics, shall we? First things first, students will call me 'sir ma'am'. They will speak unless spoken to. They will raise their hands and show the 'peace sign' in order to silently let me know that they don't need help on an assignment. And if they turn in homework, they will be expected to correct it themselves using the key on the table across the room from my desk. No cheating!
I've forgotten something.... Oh right, there is no teacher's desk, or tables in my room. If only I could remember that custodian's name, so I can ask him about that the next time I go in.... Well, it will come to me.
Would YOU Listen to ME?
Please let me know what you think of my brilliant teacher ideas! Do you find me an inspiring teacher who would motivate you to do your best on your math assignment, or be cooperative while doing your science experiments?
(Author Note: This is a strange hub in that some of the details here are true and some of them are not. For example, I am actually going to be a teacher this coming school year. Believe it or not, it's true. Yeah I know. On the other hand, I stretched the truth about some of those teacher plans I have. For example, my rules are just plain silly. Of course my students can feed the pet frogs spit wads! Why would I object to that?)