Sunday, August 13, 2006

Back To Work Tomorrow

Tomorrow is my first day of school. The students return Thursday.
We will start the day bright and early at 8:00 with a district-wide
breakfast. No matter where I sit, our table will be the last section
to be called through the buffet line. That's how it always works,
no matter where I sit. You'd think my buddies would catch on,
and say, "Um...I promised so-and-so I'd sit over there."

Let's see, the menu will be scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits,
gravy, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries,
hash browns, cinnamon rolls, orange juice, coffee. I think I've got
it all. By the time my table sits down to eat, others will be throwing
away trash. The catering people will hover over us, waiting to grab
our styrofoam plates, plastic utensils, and half-empty cups. Because
I'm a half-empty kind of gal.

We'll have an insurance presentation, a confidentiality presentation,
and probably a guest speaker thrown in there somewhere. After
much meeting, we will disperse for lunch. Then we will have more
specific meetings with the building principals. Here, we will receive
the tools of instruction: plan books, gradebooks, faculty handbooks,
student forms concerning the student handbook and technology
rules, absentee slips, hall passes, etc. The first thing we will do is
flip through those faculty handbooks and highlight our 'duties'.
Then we will pay attention to what is being said. Most of us.

The rest of the time, we will 'be free to work in our rooms'. I'm
glad I have one room ready to go. I won't have to rush. Because
something always comes up that will take time away from what
I need to be doing. Every year, I go back earlier and earlier just
to get things ready. When I taught a regular class, I didn't have
to do that. I could use the same texts, and use the same material
year after year. Now, mine changes every year.

If we're lucky, we'll get our class rosters before Thursday morning.
But listen, whatever you do, don't write names in the gradebook
until after Labor Day, because schedules may change. And FYI,
there are plenty of new kids we add after Labor Day, because
they say they didn't know when we started school. That's their
story, and they're stickin' to it.

Tuesday night will be Open House. I'll have to spend an hour in
each building. I'll start in Lower Basementia, because parking is
OH SO HARD to find there. And the crowds are bigger there,
too. By the time I get to the other building, many students will
have come and gone, so I don't have such a big turnout there.

Wednesday, we'll have a 1-day respite to regroup. There are
usually no meeting on Wednesday, and we are free to get the
last-minute details ready for Thursday. Also on Wednesday,
we can leave at 12:00 if we have our stuff ready, to make up
for our 2 hours of Open House, and the hour we would have
been using for lunch on Wednesday. I'm usually not ready to
leave early. Those elementary teachers have way more to get
ready, and work a long time. Teachers at MS and HS with
only one room generally get done early, unless they are new,
or teaching a new subject.

Thursday morning, we will go over the rules with the students
first hour, and have them sign a form that they understand, and
were given a chance to ask questions. If they refuse to sign,
they are granted a private audience with the principal. Most
of them suddenly remember that they DO understand. The
other hours, we explain our class grading system, and what
we plan to be doing throughout the year, and what they'll need
for class. Teachers with textbooks will probably check them
out today. We also tell kids what lunch shift they will have, and
explain to the freshmen where to go through the line, and what
is expected behavior for the lunchroom.

Friday, we'll actually begin course work, and the year will be
underway. Until new kids get added to the class. Then we'll
have a short setback while everybody adjusts. Because some
kids will have to show off, and some will have to flirt, and
some will have to act totally indifferent. That's how it is with
my students, anyway.

Wow! The week just flew by, didn't it? I'm tired already.


Rebecca said...

Hi Hillbilly Mom,
Could you explain the breakfast biscuits a bit further?
I am assuming it would be something like an Anzac buscuit, but given you are in America, I'm guessing it is deep fried, then covered with sugar.

Cazzie!!! said...

Hey, you are tired? Look at my post..I cannot even have caffeine..and you have a buffet that includes coffee to drink :( I am crying now...please have a coffee for me..and some nice strawberries and watermelon (Cazzie sniffles off...)
Have agreat first day back HBM :)

Redneck Diva said...

I felt like I had homework the first two days of school last week when my kids brought in oodles of papers and forms and cards and permission slips. I got writer's cramp. If they'd email me the forms my hand wouldn't cramp up so badly. :)

Chickadee said... a student I hated that first week of school, but I think it's worse for the teacher. I had no idea you had to go through all of that stuff.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I don't know what an Anzac biscuit is. The biscuit I'm talking about is one that you pour gravy over, or the kind McDonalds served as a Sausage Biscuit. I thought you guys called 'cookies' biscuits. The deep-fried, sugar coated biscuits are the poor man's donuts. My kids love them. You take a roll of canned biscuits, drop the dough in boiling oil, and then roll them in sugar and cinnamon when they come out of the hot oil.

Sorry, I did not have the coffee. And to torment you further...the cinnamon roll was delicious. They were out of strawberries by the time I went through the line. The watermelon looked too pale. But the green grapes were good. Mabel said the eggs were the worst thing she ever tasted. I don't know how she could say that. They didn't have any taste at all.

I got the one set filled out for #1 son, and I ran a copy so I just have to change the name for #2. I wonder if the school will get suspicious that they've had the same illnesses on the same dates.

Thank you for feeling my pain.