The first week of classes is over. I'm ready to keel over and die. Join me in my week (in a nutshell)--
Monday: is Labor Day. I don't have to work. I do, however, have to worry about work. For the first time in my teaching career, I actually left on the Friday before Labor Day having completed everything for the first day of school. Syllabus? Check. Policies and procedures? Check. First quarter calendar? Done and done. Boxes unpacked? Surprisingly-- yes! My classroom looked clean, uncluttered, and organized when I locked the door.
But that doesn't mean I don't worry. There are many other things to worry about. Like-- what should I wear? In what order should I present all the information about the class? Will the kids give me the "year from hell" vibe? (This actually exists-- I got it on the first day of school three years ago. That was the year I came within inches of quitting. >shudder<) Will guidance add more students to my classes? Will I have enough desks if they do?
So, yeah. I worried. I tried to distract myself with Stephanie Meyer's New Moon, the sequel to Twilight. (Um, more on that in a later post. Much more. And flip to Jess' blog for her eloquent gushfest about Twilight. She says all the things I would say. We're so psychically connected it's scary.)
Anyway, I went to bed at 11:00. I was still awake at 2:00
Tuesday: My alarm went off at 5:30. It's set on 104.1, a classical station, and the music kind of filters into my unconscious before I opened my eyes and looked at the time. "That can' t be right," I thought blearily. "Didn't I just fall asleep five minutes ago?"
Sadly, no. So I picked up the school day routine where I left off in June: walk Q. Make lunch. Shower and dress. Double-check to make sure I haven't forgotten anything. Stop at Starbuck's. And finally... to school.
My first period was juniors, AP Lang and Comp. They were quiet.
Third period was freshmen. All my freshmen classes are team classes (which means that I have a team partner from the special ed department. Let's call her Christine. We've been working together for four years, and I love her. We have a lot of fun, which isn't always easy to have when you're talking about fourteen-year-olds). They were also quiet. Is this a trend? No, it's just the first day of school.
Fifth period was AP juniors again. They were... lively. I asked them how they liked the summer reading assignment and was met by a cacaphony of "It was awesome!" I immediately decided that they will be my favorite class.
I had seventh period off. I tried to work on several things at once, but gave up when everything started to look and sound like gibberish. So I went to the library to, um, "Xerox" (yeah, there' s more to my frequent library visits than that. Later, I promise).
Wednesday: I was in meetings all morning. I saw my third period freshmen again (I see them every day), and we talked about their summer reading assignment, Animal Farm. At first they were all a little reluctant to participate, but I finally said, "Look, you want me to learn your name ASAP, you'll contribute to the discussion," and that got them started.
Fourth period was another freshmen class. They were also quiet and significantly less eager for me to learn their names.
Sixth period I was off again. I Xeroxed (for real this time) and watched the clock. At 2:30, I booked it home and spent the rest of the day finishing New Moon.
Thursday: My AP kids had their test on The Crucible, one of their summer reading books. We talked about rhetorical devices. They actually seemed interested. We'll see how long it lasts.
Third period we discussed writing good paragraphs. When I asked, "What should a good concluding sentence do?", I received the following response (say it with me, people-- I'm sure you can guess what's coming):
"Ah," I replied, shooting a frosty glare of death at Beck, the unfortunate smart-aleck boy who spoke first. "Okay. Thanks for that, Captain Obvious."
I spent my planning period grading Crucible tests. Oy. John Proctor totally did not rip his shirt at the end of Act Two when his wife is arrested for witchcraft. And "torture" is not spelled "tochure." There were truly points when I wanted to cry.
Friday: When I woke up, I was in the shower. It's a good thing my routine is so automatic, I guess-- I really can do it in my sleep.
It took me half an hour to decide what to wear. My principal decided that casual Fridays shouldn't really include jeans anymore, but he never really said we couldn't wear jeans. And my jeans are nice, new, Gap jeans. I put them on and passed on the shirt emblazoned with our school mascot. When I got to school, it seemed like that's all anyone is wearing. I felt like a rebel. Then I walked past my principal and felt guilty. Over a shirt.
Meetings all morning. Again. Freshmen the rest of the day. Pep rally in the afternoon (I locked myself in my room and made the reading quiz for my AP classes instead).
At 2:40, I was in my car. At 3:00, I was home, and the first week was over.
And you know? Despite the zombie fog I'm currently experiencing due to lack of sleep-- it was a really great week.