Thursday, September 9, 2010

My First "First Week" of School

So here it is, we are three days into the school year - and I am actually a teacher in weird. It has been a great experience getting to help set the tone of the school year (both within my classroom and in the halls). I think that this year is going to feel much more at home (even if I am teaching Science and terrified that I am going to screw up every day).

I started my first day of classes with icebreakers to help my students get out of their seats and get to know one another. The only thing Science related they saw was my intro letter that they were to read, sign and have their parent/guardian sign. Grade 9s respond much more timidly to name games on the first day, but I think that everyone learned a few names and had an experience they will look back on and laugh about. I must say, indoor "snowball" fights are fun and Grade 9s and 10s cannot do the Birthday Game in silence to save their lives. Hilarity.

My favourite story so far comes from a Grade 10 class on the second day, when a student asked me "Miss, are you Canadian". When I proceeded to tell him that I was, his response was "oh, because you have a Canadian accent". I didn't really know what to think about that as usual, I laughed! (I laugh way too much in that class...they already know they can distract me with their goofy ways. Oh well!)

I'm teaching an applied Science class for the first time in my career. As expected it comes with a group of unique students; many talk too freely about things that teachers do not want to hear about; some have more life experience than I probably ever will in my life; some live in single parent homes; and others will constantly be a struggle to get to do work (even though they are perfectly capable of it). I have actually had some good experiences so far (they make the struggles worth dealing with most days) with students completing work and willingly asking questions and participating in is definitely less of a struggle than applied math was. All I can do is try to keep up what I am doing so far and hope that most of them hold on. I intend to be there as a role model for them and give them a place where they can feel like they are capable of being successful.

I am both excited and nervous to see what the following weeks hold for me and my students. Every day is different and cannot be predicted. Maybe one of these days I will even learn to get to sleep at a decent hour and have things planned before the 5 minutes before class starts. But just maybe.

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