Friday, September 7, 2012

Week 1 in Review

Our students began classes on Wednesday. I already feel like we never left in June as we are back in full swing.  One of my personal missions this year is to do a little reflection every Friday evening on the good, bad, and ugly from the past week.

I spent a total of 3 hours in my office over the past 3 school days. This is certainly a victory. The addition of an iPad and new wifi access throughout the school building allow me to get e-mails and other communications done while on the go. I was able to visit classrooms, step into the hallway and answer a few e-mails, and then jump into another classroom.

My AP English students will keep me on my toes even more this year. This is the second year I'm back in the classroom once a day to teach AP. I love the interaction and ability to remember what it is to be a teacher. This year's class is very different from last year's (whom I loved dearly) and it is already quite evident that I will be challenged with stepping up my game this year. I view this as a positive experience for me personally as well as professionally.

A veteran staff is a HUGE blessing.   For the first time in a number of years, we have a stable staff. The only new teacher is a long-term sub filling in for a veteran on maternity leave. Working with an experienced staff who already know the school inside and out causes the beginning of the year to be smooth sailing. Last year I was anxiously roaming from one classroom to the next checking on our six new teachers. This year, every room I step into feels like a well-oiled machine.

Calm spirits and creativity are vital tools for every situation. As with any school, situations have come up already that seem "impossible". Classes of 30 students learning geometry in the auditorium, books mistakenly not ordered over the summer, laptops needing a last-minute update from IT, new iPads in an English class, buses from 14 districts attempting to transport our students to and from school. Each situation requires me to remain calm and use the creative problem solving I've practiced time and time again over the past five years in administration. Are all situations worked out? No, but we are making progress.

It's never too early to get some rest. Yes, it is only the end of day three with students, yet I have found myself going to bed by 9:30 or 10:00 and don't apologize for it. There were still tasks to be accomplished, but I value my rest. Rather than spend this entire weekend lesson planning and working, I am going to a spiritual conference tomorrow to rejuvenate myself. I have realized I need to take care of me!!!

How was your first (or second or third) week?

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