Trying to settle in

My first day passed in a whirl-windy blur. Today was technically my 3rd day, but since last Thursday was so crazy weird, schedule-wise, that I don’t necessarily count it.

I’ve got good groups of kids, and the whole-class personalities are pretty different from each other. My 3rd hour group is VERY chatty. When I student taught, my 3rd hour was very chatty. I think it’s something w/ the #3. (ok, maybe not…)

We have already dived right in. We’re reading the Crucible first. Even though we have 90 minute class periods, I feel as if I am stretching, yet don’t have enough time to do everything. GAH!

My principal already made a walk-through visit. On Friday! She didn’t have too much to say in my eval form, other than to suggest that I do a certain style of note-taking w/ my classes. Has anyone heard of Cornell notes? It’s how we’re supposed to be modeling note-taking this year. I think it’s a really good idea, but for me, it’ll take getting used to, b/c I’m a traditional note taker–phrases and sentences, try to write down as much of what the teacher is saying, while they’re saying it. I can’t concretely remember a time when I’ve ever taken notes out of a book either (except to construct them for my classes, and then I KNOW I write way too much! However, I’m not sure how to pare it down. Paring things down is something I struggle with–my need to fulfill CONTEXT of things makes me a glutton for info).

My other struggle I’m noticing is not explaining things enough or thoroughly. There’s more hand-holding than what I’m used to. So, I need to slow down and spell things out step-by-step. Problem is, I’m so much a BIG PICTURE thinker, that figuring out what the “step-by-steps” are, is hard for me. I’ve been asking for help wherever I can get it, trust me, but…

One thing I’m struggling w/, facilities-wise is the copy machine usage. In student teaching district, we had 3 copy machines available for staff use. And, that included student teachers. If you had a key, you could get in and make copies whenever you needed to (on 2 of those machines). And, there was no limit or stress about it (unless you’re waiting in line). Did I mention that student teaching district is primarily Caucasian and upper middle class/wealthy? Yeah. At my job, teachers are NOT allowed to touch the one copy machine. And, the copy lady is prickly. And, we’re strongly encouraged to go to the district’s Printing and Publishing hub at the main building to have copies made through there (cheaper). When you’re uber-organized (like my friend Adv Math Teach, you turned in all your copies for the 2007-2008 school year into P&P at the end of last school year. So, you have almost all of your copies made already. Yup), it’s not a problem. When you’re me, it’s a bit of a problem.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m having some learning curve issues. But, I really do like my kids. I’ve got one that is an irritant, but yet there’s also something endearing about him…

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