Friday, August 31, 2012

The First Day of School

As many of you know, I used to be a High School Teacher.  I had a blog chronicling my High School Teaching days.  I still have a ton of those posts and I repost them from time to time on here.  Here is one that I wrote on the first day of classes for the 2008-09 school year.  Enjoy!

BTW - I am SOOO glad I am not teaching High School anymore!

Top Ten Memorable Moments from the First Day of School
Today was our first day of school, and if you've ever read Harry Wong's "The First Day of School," then you know that it's best when everything is planned out in advance, and there are no major surprises. This would be pretty much the total opposite of my school's first day of school. Also, you may be giggling at the name Harry Wong right now.

Our day was actually full of chaos and mayhem and unexpectedness. Instead of just narrating the day, I thought I'd pick out the top 10 moments and express them in list form.

10) Having people walk in and out of my classroom all day long to check out the air conditioner. The motor was working all day long, and if you held your hand 2 inches from the vent, it appeared to be blowing out cold air, yet the classroom remained at 85 degrees. I'm not really sure why the 2 guys inspecting it were wearing hard hats, but I guess there's no such thing as TOO safe?

9) I was able to offload a few handfuls of my leftover wedding M&Ms before classes began. My morning duty was monitoring the 3rd grade hallway, so I told the kids that I would give a few M&Ms to each student in the quietest class. There were two classes that I figured this would make no impression on whatsoever, and I was right about them. But the other four classes WERE very quiet, which was especially great seeing as how it was the first day, and they didn't know the usual routine. The class who won never asked me who "John and Tamara" were, or what was special about "July 2, 2010." They just shoved the candies in their mouths.

8) Despite the district going to a computerized attendance system, we learned in our meeting after school today (yes, a meeting after school -- memorable moment 8.5) that we would still need to turn in a folder with a headcount each day. We are to a paperless system what Hummers are to Green cars.

7) Getting called out of the 3:15 meeting to meet with a parent who didn't know where her child was. This boy was not supposed to get on a bus, yet he may have, instead of going to parent pick up. The lady eventually went home to see if he was there, and I never heard anything more, so I am assuming she found him. We'll know for sure tomorrow.

6) One of my students from last year coming up to me after school and giving me a hug. I am sorry to admit that I did not remember her name (I remembered it later), but it was nice to see her.

5) After-school bus duty was hectic and hot. It was about 104 degrees outside, and I was out there for about 20 minutes, due to several missing kids. The kids were finally found, but my buses were the last to leave, and I probably lost about 10 pounds through sweat. Also, there are usually 6 faculty members monitoring the first two buses, but today my buddy Ed U Cater and I were the only 2 out there between both buses. Not sure what happened to the others, but I have a feeling it had something to do with our bus duty never being officially announced.

4) The cafeteria ceiling collapsing. We were told to have lunch with the kids in the classroom, and things were delayed for a while, but I didn't find out until a little later the reason why. It seems a few sections of the ceiling fell (leak? gas? bigfoot?), narrowly missing one class of students.

3) The announcement at 2:55 that "the brother or sister of so-and-so needs to go to room 202 to pick up so-and-so." Turns out that the sister (cousin, really) was in my class, and that earlier, I had needed to send her to the office with a message. And she hadn't known where the office was, so I had to send another student with her. Yet here she was, being asked to find a room on the second floor, in the 5th grade wing. Thankfully, at that time, the 5th graders were walking by on their way out to the buses, so I snagged one and sent my student with her.

2) The teacher break room now looks like a high-scale Starbucks. There are fancy tables and chairs, the walls are bright colors, complete with trim, and the lighting is soft. It's good to know that I may not have working air conditioning in my room, the hallways were just painted last week, and our cafeteria may need to be condemned, but at least I can have lunch in style. Priorities.

1) My kids. It would appear that I have a really good group of kids this year. There were several on both rosters that did not show up, but of those who did, there were only a couple that gave me any problems today. One kid fell asleep, and a few others couldn't stop talking and playing. But other than that, they listened, they did what they asked, and when we did a fact family triangle, they completed the fact family with little trouble. I hope this trend continues

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