Friday, November 20, 2009

Month One

Well loyal followers, it has now officially been 4 weeks since I began teaching. Which means that only 174 days remain on my probation period as a teacher. It has been quite the roller coaster ride, but I can safely say that I still love it and am so happy with my decision to pursue a career in teaching. There have been funny moments, overwhelming/stressful moments and some great learning moments so far. Some of them are outside of the classroom - it's always ironic when I get home to have my father say "are you REALLY a high school teacher? not grade 2?"

He has a point though, as I love that age group as well at camp and cannot believe that I handle teenagers everyday either, but I love that I can go into class every day and not know what is going to happen...and at the same time be able to be apart of such a tough/awkward time of a kid's life. There are pros and cons to being the "young" teacher that the kids think they can relate to - I find that they tend to be more open about life and class which can lead to them saying things they probably shouldn't but they also seem to really appreciate my efforts and want to put forth the effort to meet my expectations.

Speaking of expectations, I tried to walk into these classes with high expectations...if you lower your expectations students will tend to lower their standards and not work to their potential. They created my classes by splitting existing ones in half (ya, I am a lucky butt, I know!) so the classes are small but I also had to deal with starting partway through a semester and got some of the students that were struggling a bit more in their classes. I've been working hard with them and some of them are struggling, but I make myself available to them for extra help a lot and a few of them have responded to it.

I had to write report card comments and do the report marks for my students in my second week at the school. It was quite the experience and quite the learning curve, but I got through it and have become more acquainted with the process as well as using Mark Book - a computer software for recording and calculating marks. This week has marked a bunch of "milestones" as well. The new teachers had our NTIP meeting with one of the VPs to find out about that process (and of course I just realized that there is much to do and it got left at school, luckily my Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA) isn't for another two weeks). It was also Parent Teacher Night this week - which marks my first as a teacher. I give camp experience a ton of credit for how easily that went and for the fact that I wasn't even nervous about it. Overall, it went really well and some great conversations with parents occurred.

There are so many things about this first month that have gone through my head when I have thought about finally getting a chance to write this entry, but of course I cannot think about much right now - the exhaustion on a Friday evening is aplenty. I have kind of gotten used to the idea of exhaustion being a constant state of being. I have yet to drink coffee still - hooray!

Well I feel I have spent enough hours thinking about school for now anyway. 53 hrs were spent within the school walls, plus some additional time at school and lots to do this weekend.

Something you would like to know about my experience so far? Post a comment and I will include it in my nest entry :)