On Thursday, I had my new teacher orientation for my new school district. I was excited to see who else was working in the district and meet the other newbies in my building. I'm in the middle school so there's a new Family & Consumer Sciences teacher, myself, a new P/T Speech Pathologist and a new Teaching Assistant who was there last year as a Social Studies leave.
They gave us breakfast, took us on a bus tour of the community and we stopped at Cablevision, which is the largest employer on Long Island. They took our picture there and gave us free tote bags. Went back to school and got our ID pictures taken (the superintendent made me go first! Ha! It didn't come out bad). Afterwards, we had lunch which was done by the teachers union. And then proceeded to fill out the motherload of paperwork. I am talking each new teacher got a 5 Start expandable portfolio with all the papers. I just felt like my head was swimming as I was doing this and felt overloaded with information.
The bright side while filling out all these papers is that we were informed we get free dental & free vision plans! It's separate from the medical, which we pay for, but it's something they worked out with the district. I say that is pretty awesome!
After that meeting, we had to go meet with our principal at the middle school. Oh, might I say that they are REPAVING the road IN FRONT OF the school and it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to get to?!?!?!?! I literally parked two blocks away and walked (and by walked, I mean I ran across the street when the construction people weren't looking because I had to get there).
At the meeting with the principal, we all got handed binders with the teacher handbook. I didn't realize it would be that huge! I started reading through it and then decided to read more of it at home. My new principal (and the brand new assistant principal who seems really nice) told us we do not have to hand in lesson plans...which can be a good thing and a bad thing. He was super impressed with my lesson at the demo so I want to make sure I maintain that. I get observed 4 times during the year (1 announced and 3 unannounced) and he gave us the charts that they use to evaluate us. I like that because then you're not left in the dark.
Just talking about the pre-assessments we have to give the kids the second week of school makes me want to vomit a little. I feel lost there because I haven't met any of the other teachers in my department yet (I will on Tuesday) and I don't know if we all have to make our own tests or we use the same one throughout the department. That's how they did it in my last school. I have a list of questions to ask at our department meeting on Tuesday and I am praying that they give me a mentor teacher or something to help me. I see my 6th graders every other day so I don't even see my French kids until Thursday! So I am not so worried about that but in reality I am, you know? I just don't want to mess up, after thinking I would NEVER get a job in a Long Island school district. At the new teacher orientation, every department head/person kept mentioning it was a great place to work and everyone is extremely collaborative so I am hoping they will be like that when I meet them on Tuesday.
Despite feeling like I have no idea what I am doing, I am excited for the school year to start. All of my co-workers from my last school, including my chairperson, said to let them know if I need anything and they will help me. I have a feeling I will be okay (and if not, that's what a glass or two of wine is for at night!) and slowly, but surely, will feel more confident in myself.