Saturday, August 13, 2016

Like Billy Madison, I'm back to school

This past week was our first week of the school year and I am happy to report that we all survived!

The kids seem to be the ones adjusting to the new schedule the best. They have been awake and already preparing for the day by the time I make my way to their rooms to give them their scheduled wake up call. They have also handled all the time in my room before and after school well. M has been faithful in doing his homework each night (30 minutes of reading) despite being a self-proclaimed hater of all things book related. Y has not had homework yet, but I sense this is simply a small back to school gift from her teachers before the real hard work begins.

I, on the other hand, have been dragging. My body and brain are not used to this new schedule yet. My Spanish skills are a bit rusty from disuse over the summer which has made introductions interesting. I'm also trying to adjust to the fact that I have stuff to do with the kids in the afternoons now and can't rely on quiet evenings at home to handle school related stuff. Y has dance, both kids have various appointments, and errands to run.

It's a good change, but it's a big one.

Steve finished up his paternity leave and is back to enjoying the thrills of corporate American life. His group got a little behind on delivering trainings while he was gone, so he is busily playing catch up this week (and even on Saturday morning).

All things combined made this week a big challenge for us as a family. We made it through, but it was clear last night that we all needed some time to relax. The kids get really testy when they are tired and I have been pulling out all of my coping strategies to stay as calm and patient as I can.

It's one thing to read all the parenting strategies and books recommended by the agency, it's another to actually put them into practice when you have had no sleep and someone continues doing their "most annoying sound in the world" competition while I'm cooking dinner and attempting to create student login cards simultaneously.

One thing I'm trying not to stress about (but can't seem to help myself) is my class size and all the implications that come with it. I only have 16 kiddos. The entire grade level is hovering around 20 kids each, but I have the lowest by far. This wouldn't be a problem at all if it weren't for the fact that our 9 kindergarten classes are all hovering around 27 kids each.

Nobody has said anything official about moving teachers around yet, but as the newest hire of the grade level with the lowest official enrollment, AND having the smallest class in that grade level, there is a strong possibility that I could be moved to kindergarten. Obviously I'll make the best of the situation if it happens. I am just crossing my fingers that I get to stay put. I've got enough big transitions happening in my life right now. Adding the task of teaching a brand new grade level to the mix is not an appealing possibility at the moment.

Monday, August 1, 2016

More Beginnings

Today was my first official day back to work after the summer break.

As I mentioned previously, I'm in a new school this year but the same grade level. I am also in a regular classroom in the building now rather than a trailer. By some stroke of luck, I am by the teacher bathrooms, two sets of student bathrooms, the clinic, and the cafeteria.

Part of me feels like I have died and gone to teacher heaven.

My new grade level team is pretty awesome as well. I do miss my old teammates, but the new ones hold their own when it comes to being inclusive and communicating important information.

I won't even mention the ridiculous amount of resources (technology, manipulatives, books, etc.) at my disposal this year.

The kids will be attending school with me this year as well so they have stopped by a few times to help me set up my room and get a look at the teachers in their grades. Its so funny watching their faces get all shy when I introduce them to others in the building.

With last weekend full of back to school shopping during the tax free weekend, I think we are just about ready to get this year started!

To all my teacher friends, even those who will be starting closer to Labor Day, I wish you a fantastic school year!