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Expectations

My district seems to start way later than everyone else. I’m seeing a lot of first days/weeks of class type posts, and I still have no idea what I’m going to be doing.

I don’t even know if there is going to be a new teacher orientation day, or more than one staff day before classes start.

I don’t know which grade I’m going to teach, or if I’m going to teach all of them.

I don’t know what my classroom looks like, or if I’m even going to have my own classroom1.

I have no idea what sort of technology support I can expect.

I don’t know how large my classes are going to be (though I expect them to be less than 24 students – that’s part of why I was hired.)

So, as other teachers are trying to make good on their new years resolutions (of either the start or stop doing something variety), mine is going to be a whole lot simpler. It’s based in part on my best year of teaching, where I had set myself such low expectations that after 2 weeks I felt free to try out anything that I wanted to.

My resolution is to minimize my expectations, and to simply try to create a decent learning environment for myself and for my kids, and then just go with whatever happens as a result of that.

1 As a result of hiring more teachers, they’ve run out of classrooms. A couple of teachers will be roaming, with no rooms of their own.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Tom Escott | August 28, 2009 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    I think you must be teaching at my school this year. It’s strange to have you bring up many of the same issues that I have faced.

    I think you do need to make a lot of assumptions without input from others.

    Students need to get to work from day 1, so I recommend that you have a variety of engaging activities for the entire week, activities that don’t require text books, or too many supplies.

    I would also appoint a lot of student helpers that can help with routine activities. I had students take attendance until the administration squashed that idea. But students all love to help out, so use them wherever you can.

    I’m teaching online and my classes start on September 15. I’m so happy that I don’t have to deal with all of the first day of school stuff.

    Good luck.

  2. Mr. K | August 28, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Yeah – a big part of it is getting the students on track right away. My big hang up is going to be that I’m not sure what my track is going to be like.

    My beginning of the year routine has changed from showing and reading a list of rules to “Here’s a picture of a student at their desk. How can you tell that they’re doing what they’re supposed to?” Going back to the transparencies (which I’m sure I’ve tossed) could be difficult. Then again, I made it work back when, I can make it work now.

    As for student helpers, I find they work best when I’ve got a routine ready for them. This time around, I’ve got a paucity of routines to start off with – I’ll be building them up as the year goes by.

  3. dkzody | September 5, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Allowing students to take attendance is against ed code in CA.