Thursday, August 03, 2006

I Will Adapt

I'm slowly getting back into work mode. The boys and I went back
to school today to put some things in order in my Middle School
classroom. The building where I've been sent to Outer Basementia.
I'm trying to make lemonade out of this adventure. Here are the
good things about the move:

The basement is cool. As in 75 degrees instead of 90 degrees.
I am across from the library, with computers & a drinking fountain.
My room is next to the math teacher. I am teaching math.
Only 40 kids will pass through the hall during class change.
No lockers line the hall.
I have a good pencil sharpener.
There are electrical outlets on 4 walls instead of 1.
Windows face south. No direct sunlight.

The bad things about the move? Let's not dwell on the bad.
Life goes on. I will adapt.

My #1 son was a big help, running to and fro at my bidding.
I sent him to the third floor to my old room to look for my clock.
It is missing in action, but it's possible I brought it home with all
my junk I didn't want to disappear. I learned the first year there
that anything not marked was apparently considered fair game,
as some of my chairs magically relocated to the second floor,
and a couple down the hall.

We ran into a staff member who accompanied us to the new
room, flagged down a custodian walking by outside, and asked
that my room be measured and fitted with window shades.
HooRah! Something for nothing.

We rearranged the student desks, unstuck a drawer in my teacher's
desk, moved the computers, bookshelf, and file cabinet. I opened
two boxes of new stuff that I found in the hall. Hey, it had my name
on it. It was stuff I ordered in May: 30 rulers, two sets of math
posters, two sets of posters with the parts of speech and rules for
punctuation and capitalization, 4 books of reproducible math
worksheets. I am waiting on the dictionaries and calculators, but
they might have been shipped to the High School. I have to fill
out requisitions for both buildings, and I try to consolidate like
items. Then I split them up and put half in each building.

My new room is not big enough for the giant table I had requested
from upstairs. I went to Office Max and bought two 4' x 2' tables,
and some file folders and pencils and chalk holders and graph paper
and pens and masking tape and a surge suppressor. It was about
$165 worth of stuff, but hey, it ain't out of my pocket. I used money
I earned a couple years ago by selling snacks and soda after school.
Now that stuff is banned in the building, but I still had a stash left
from when I was rollin' in dough. Don't think they have enough of
that requisition money to go around. You learn to order the stuff
you have to have, and get other stuff on your own as you go along.
Sometimes the school will give you things like the tape and surge
suppressors, sometimes they're out. It's a pain to wait around and
find someone to ask, and then you don't have it when you needed
it three days ago. I'm not picking on this school. It's been that way
everyplace I've taught.

HH is off tomorrow, so he's going to carry in the tables and set
them up. He can carry in my boxes of books and worksheets and
stuff too. He'll pay for leaving those soda cans for me to pick up!
Bwahaha! Normally I wouldn't bring it all home, but when you've
bought your own stuff, and taken all the time to make copies of
things from here and there, you don't want to take a chance on
summer school students carrying stuff to the right place.

If I work all of next week, I should be ready to start after our
3 days of meetings. It's like starting a new job in a way, because
now I have 5 new preps, where I just had 1 before. That means
I am teaching 6 different classes. 7th, 8th, 9th Math, and 7th, 9th
Communication Arts, and 9-12 At-Risk. Keep in mind all these
subjects are still considered 'at-risk' classes. It's something called
'double dose'. The kids still have regular Math or CA, but also
have my class. I have to stay on the same topics the regular
teachers are teaching that week, but present it in my way, with
different assignments. That way they get two classes of a subject
they have had low grades in. It's kind of a new thing around this
area. I think only 3 schools around here do it. I am supposed to
have students who have failed the subject, or gotten low test
scores. We'll see. If they get their grades up in the regular class
after a semester, I think they will be allowed to take regular
electives like art, band, choir, industrial arts, keyboarding,
web design, FACS (which used to be called Home Ec, but
now is Family And Consumer Science or some such thing).

There now. I've enlightened you on the career of Hillbilly Mom.
Bet you just thought I showed up the first day and started
educatin', huh?


Cazzie!!! said...

Could I come over and help you with the FACS class? Does that include sewing and all that? Or would that be textiles? I been workin' my butt off on the sewing machine of late for the kids and thir party costumes and all...I bet I could help teach the students too :)

deadpanann said...

I'm jealous. I wish I had a classroom to rearrange. Every time I go to Wal Mart I shed a tear as I walk past the dry erase markers without buying any.

Chickadee said...

As a kid adn even in high school, I HATED this time of the year. Meaning, August. I hated August because I knew school was just around the corner.

I still hate August...I guess old habits die hard.

I'm interested in the program you and a few other schools are doing...having the kids take the same class twice but by different teachers and what not. Sometimes the kids don't understand the way one person teaches it and understands it when someone else teaches it a different way. I wonder what has the success rate will be for these kids that have previously failed.

Hillbilly Mom said...

You could help. At the Middle School, they only have the class for a quarter, which is 45 school days. They have to learn all sorts of stuff in that time, including cooking, so they only have time for one sewing project. They make pillows. They order the kind they want, stitch the sides together, leaving a little hole, turn it inside out, and stuff it. Some of them turn out great. Some, not so much.

You could teach them how to make a Boston Bun, too!

Miss Ann,
Oh! Oh! Have you seen the new dry erase markers? They are thin ones, like pencils, and on top they have a built-in eraser. They are OH SO CUTE! I saw them in Office Max yesterday. They kind of look like ink pens with flat-top haircuts. Not so much for writing on the board, I think, but for the little kids who used individual boards in class.

As a kid, I loved this time of year. I loved school (cause I'm a big ol' nerd), and couldn't wait to get my school supplies. Now it just means my summer vacation is over.

I, too, am interested in seeing how this technique will work. I'll write a whole post about it soon. I have too much to say on the subject.