Monday, August 22, 2011

So far, so good...

We started back to school last Friday and things are smooth, so far. I am learning the ropes at the Junior High and I like it. I don't feel as stressed and I have the freedom to grow and experiment.

My five classes are as different from each other as peas and artichokes. My first hour is Pre-AP and such eager, well behaved kids. Noodle (my daughter) is in that class, plus a lot of football players and band geeks. Love it!

Third hour (2nd is plan) is quiet, and for the most part, easy to deal with. I do have some kids that really struggle, who are unable to do anything near level. One of them cannot read at all. For two days they have been in my room and not even a co-teacher has come to assist. They are so overwhelmed and with 27 kids, it is really hard to give them any one-on-one time.

Fourth hour is a challenge. It is my largest class at 31 kids. I have a lot of students in that class with prior discipline issues and they are working hard to keep that reputation. They remind me of last year's homeroom class. I will probably fall hard for them and love them most of all.

Sixth hour (5th is Academic Achievement) is going to be a good class once I get a seating chart made. I have a few kids who just cannot be near each other and then we will be just fine.

And then there is seventh hour... Seventh hour always gets the label of being the worst. It is the last hour of the day. Mix tired teachers with tired kids and disaster usually ensues. But my last hour is small, and I adore the kids. There are some spunky ones but I love their laughter and their energy. 

It just might be a really, really good year.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Transformation...

It's been a lot of work. But I think I have made it into a place where I can guide and inspire.

Walking in that first day, I was horribly overwhelmed. What to do with this corner?
How about a reading nook?


Wall to wall desks...


But I carved out a little space for me.



Bookcases painted to the floor and covered in notes and names.

Curtains make a huge difference and hide all my extra books and supplies.

This entire wall scared me! (Blurry because I was shaking!)



 
Now, this is better!

Speaking of scary....yikes!!!!!!!!!


$5 plants, stick on velcro, picnic table cloth on clearance, strategically placed storage and microwave to cover holes in the wall = miracle!


 Let the learning begin!