How is it almost halfway through October and we already have had progress reports for the first quarter?! In some ways, this school year feels like it is FLYING by and in others, it is dragging. Needless to say, it has been an interesting school year so far and certainly has kept me busy!
Keeping busy is definitely my life's mantra/theme right now. I honestly feel like collapsing and not doing ANYTHING once I get home from school. I usually leave my house by 6:45/6:50 to help with traffic. My commute is about 30 minutes give or take...sometimes 45 if it is really bad with traffic. A week ago it was pouring and it took me an HOUR. So there's something I miss about my old school with the commute being only 20 minutes and I was driving against traffic and not with it!
Everyone has said the first year is always the worst. You're a hot mess trying to get assimilated to everything and you're planning day by day. Second year it gets better because you're tweaking everything from year one. By third year, you've got it down. Is this really the truth? Because I feel like I am doggy paddling to keep my head above water with planning!!!
My problem was I didn't get access to my curriculum/topics until the day before school started and the first week of school. The other ladies in my department have been super helpful though! The french teacher (she teaches 7-12 and I teach the 6th graders) gave me a binder of all the topics/vocabulary she wants me to teach and said I can use that/do whatever I want. That helps because I am really on my own in that department. But at least it's the same textbook I used at my last school so no worries there. For 6th and 7th grade Spanish, we do packets and its usually a packet a week/week and a half then a quiz. They gave me the packets that they did over the summer (that they got paid to create) and then I have been using them in conjunction with things I find online or make up myself.
What I am finding is over planning can be good. I hate when you think you planned enough and then you still have 10 minutes left. My favorite is when I over plan and then I don't have enough time to do everything I wanted because they're stuck on something. It is hard when the textbooks/workbooks are on back order until October 27th!!!!! I feel like once I have a grip on everything, it won't be that bad. A new friend at work, who is also the new FACS teacher, told me that she felt this way her first year teaching (she taught for 5 years in another district) and kind of feels it again this year so it's nice to have some company in feeling like you're paddling to stay afloat!
I know it will get easier! I am really happy though. I have to say that I NEVER thought I would get a job teaching in a Long Island school district. It's a great district I work in and I hopefully get to become a full time teacher and not teach just a total of 3 classes. But don't get me wrong, I love it! (I do miss my other coworkers terribly!!)
Keeping in with that, I already had my first formal observation!! I chose my biggest class, my French class of 30 kids, to be observed in. Our new AP observed me and it went so well! I would rather constructive criticism then just being told there was nothing wrong. I like being able to improve because then it makes instruction smoother. He submitted his evaluation online and I got 6 highly effectives on the rubric! I was shocked! There's 15 categories and I had a lot of effectives and one developing (which is something so minor to fix) that I was so happy. That just proves to me that I am in the right profession, I know what I am doing and they're happy with me. At our new teacher meeting last Wednesday with the principal, he said they're so happy with the group they have of us new teachers (2 TAs, myself, the FACS teacher and the new speech pathologist).
The only thing I wish was I had more time to sleep! Ha ha! I am so tired and coffee is not helping right now. I had to get up early because I had a third dog trainer come meet my wild beast Lily to help me. This dog is costing me an arm & a leg with training but it'll be worth it! Right now I am off to go get my nails done and go to Kohl's. A little retail never hurt anyone!