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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
30 Rock


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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

School Daze

I think somebody needs to make me a t-shirt that says "I survived my first day of teaching."

As it should go without saying, today was my first day with my darling little third graders. The day flew by and I am beat. Today 19 kids showed up: 18 of which were on my list, one of which was not and 3 who were, but were no shows. If I get to 24 I apparently get an aide in the room. You do the math.

Having worked in different districts in differing capacities I can say one thing honestly- this is the most disorganized system yet. For those who are interested, here are some brief highlights of my day.

Picking the kids up in the cafeteria. Now one would think it made sense to have the kids come directly to the classroom. But administration, however, does not have such enlightened ideas. So instead we ALL met in the cafeteria. I'm talking teachers, paraprofessionals, students, parents, siblings of students, administration...You name it, they were there. Now add to that the fact that none of the students knew who I was and that some students had the room number of the teacher I replaced on their paper...who would have had a different class altogether by the way. Oh and it gets better. This meeting stuff in the cafeteria? We do it EVERYDAY.

ET Phone Home
Maybe it's just me, but phone calls, constantly came to my room today. It was insane. Some stuff, I realize, is unavoidable. But then when I start getting calls like this one, I begin to have second thoughts:
Music Teacher: "Hi, this is the music teacher. You know how it says on your schedule that I come to your room on Mondays?
Me: (screaming kids in the background) it doesn't say anything on my paper about your coming to my room.
Music Teacher: Oh, ok. Cause I'm not. We are doing wind instruments (or insert whatever he said here) and we need the music room to do that.
Me: Ok...

Music Teacher: So, on Monday, you can just bring them here.
Me: Just on Monday?
Music Teacher: No, from now on.

Which, for those playing along at home, is basically every week considering we haven't.. had.. music.. yet. Not to mention the fact we have two, count 'em two viable systems of communication in the school: email and individual mailboxes. A quick written correspondence, I don't know, maybe WHILE I'M NOT TEACHING would suffice.

Demon Children
I'll never forget what my one friend said to me the other day. We were talking about class rules and "laying down the law". She said, "Well, you won't have to worry about much the first few days because that's when the kids are angels. If they're not, well, that's when you know you are in for a tough class.

Within five minutes I had at least five children act out in some way. Pick a way. Chances are they did it.

Now multiply that by two and that unofficially be the number of "problem" children I have in my class. You know, the classes other teachers look at with part pity, part fear over? Yeah, although the jury is still out, it looks like that's the hand I've been dealt.

I guess the "good news" is that if that ends up being the case, it could only get easier from here...right?



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